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Ann Stomatol (Roma). 2017 Jan 10;7(3):52-59. doi: 10.11138/ads/2016.7.3.052. eCollection 2016 Jul-Sep.

Access to oral health care services among adults with learning disabilities: a scoping review.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Dar Al Uloom University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Dar Al Uloom University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Fellow, Pacific Academy of Higher Education and Research (PAHER) University, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.
3
Oral Health and Rehabilitation Research Unit, Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Medicine, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
4
Department of Prosthodontics and Implantology, School of Dentistry, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa Saudi Arabia.
5
Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Taibah University, Medinah Munnawarrah, Saudi Arabia.
6
Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Dar Al Uloom University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
7
Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
8
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The prevalence of oral diseases including dental caries and periodontal conditions is remarkably higher in people with disabilities. The provision of accessible oral health services for people with learning disabilities may be challenging.

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives of the review were to identify barriers in accessing oral health care that persists within society, enabling or disabling people with learning disabilities.

METHODS:

Using the Arksey O'Malley framework, a scoping review was conducted on PubMed/Medline, OVIDSP, and EMBASE. Studies were evaluated and short-listed based on the inclusion criteria, which consisted of: (1) study participants or population with learning disabilities, (2) aged 16 years or over, (3) reporting on access to oral health services, (4) published in the English language. Those that justified the inclusion criteria were carefully chosen after a blind peer-reviewed process when relevance and quality were debated.

RESULTS:

Nine studies were eventually included from searches. Tabulation of data was done under the heading of study type, outcomes, the year of publication and patient selection. The majority of studies provided a biomedical overview of access for adults with learning disabilities.

CONCLUSIONS:

The concept of access for people with disability is still ill-defined and obscure. Access to oral health care and needs of people with learning disabilities are complex and multi-facet.

KEYWORDS:

access; health service utilization; learning disability; oral health; scoping review

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