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J Dent Educ. 2017 Nov;81(11):1273-1282. doi: 10.21815/JDE.017.085.

"You Get Beautiful Teeth Down There": Racial/Ethnic Minority Older Adults' Perspectives on Care at Dental School Clinics.

Author information

1
Dr. Northridge is Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, New York University College of Dentistry; Dr. Schenkel is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry; Prof. Birenz is Clinical Assistant Professor, Dental Hygiene Programs, New York University College of Dentistry; Ms. Estrada is Project Coordinator, Section of Population Oral Health, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine; Dr. Metcalf is Associate Professor, Department of Geography, State University of New York at Buffalo; and Dr. Wolff is Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education, Associate Dean for Development, and Professor and Chair, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry. men6@nyu.edu.
2
Dr. Northridge is Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, New York University College of Dentistry; Dr. Schenkel is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry; Prof. Birenz is Clinical Assistant Professor, Dental Hygiene Programs, New York University College of Dentistry; Ms. Estrada is Project Coordinator, Section of Population Oral Health, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine; Dr. Metcalf is Associate Professor, Department of Geography, State University of New York at Buffalo; and Dr. Wolff is Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education, Associate Dean for Development, and Professor and Chair, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry.

Abstract

To help eliminate reported racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in oral health care, listening to the perspectives of racial/ethnic minority older adults on their experiences with dental school clinics is needed. The aim of this study was to examine the experiences of African American, Puerto Rican, and Dominican older adults who attend senior centers in upper Manhattan, New York City, regarding the care received at dental school clinics. Focus groups were conducted from 2013 to 2015 with 194 racial/ethnic minority men and women aged 50 years and older living in upper Manhattan. All of the 24 focus group sessions were digitally audiorecorded and transcribed for analysis. Groups conducted in Spanish were transcribed first in Spanish and then translated into English. Analysis of the transcripts was conducted using thematic content analysis. Seven subthemes were manifest in the data related to these adults' positive experiences with dental school clinics: excellent outcomes and dentists, painless and safe treatment, affordable care, honest and reputable, benefits of student training, accepting and helpful, and recommended by family and friends. Negative experiences centered around four subthemes: multiple visits required for treatment, loss of interpersonal communication due to use of technology, inconvenient location, and perceived stigma with Medicaid. This study provided novel evidence of the largely positive experiences with dental schools of racial/ethnic minority senior center attendees. Interventions targeted at the organization and provider level, including organizational motivation, resources, staff attributes, climate, and teamwork plus payment programs and services, insurance and affordability, and provider- and system-level supports, may improve health care processes and patient experiences of care.

KEYWORDS:

access and evaluation; community-based dental education; dental care delivery; dental care for aged; dental education; dental health services; dental school clinic; dentist-patient relations; geriatric dentistry; health care quality; health literacy; minority groups; minority health; patient satisfaction; patients; qualitative research; underserved patients

PMID:
29093140
PMCID:
PMC5693232
DOI:
10.21815/JDE.017.085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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