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Aust Dent J. 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1111/adj.12611. [Epub ahead of print]

Midwives' and women's views on accessing dental care during pregnancy: an Australian qualitative study.

Author information

1
The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
2
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
3
Monash Health Dental Services, Clayton, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Maternal behaviours during pregnancy are likely to play a significant role in the development of dental caries in children. Although midwives are well placed to discuss oral health and provide information to women, dental attendance by women during pregnancy is minimal. This study aimed to explore midwives' experience of facilitating pregnant women's access to dental care and to document women's experience of receiving dental information and care during pregnancy.

METHODS:

Focus groups with midwives and telephone interviews with women who were referred to Monash Health Dental Services were conducted to explore their perspectives and experiences. The qualitative data was thematically analysed.

RESULTS:

Three focus groups with 13 midwives and telephone interviews with eight women who recently gave birth were conducted. Three key themes were identified: maternal oral health knowledge; barriers to accessing dental information and care during pregnancy; and suggested recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlighted the barriers that exist for midwives to discuss oral health with women and refer women to dental care, and women's experiences of accessing dental care during pregnancy. Ongoing collaboration between the maternity and dental services is required to strengthen midwives' knowledge, confidence and practise in supporting women to access dental care during pregnancy.

KEYWORDS:

Dental care; Health services; Maternal oral health; Pregnancy; Qualitative

PMID:
29660129
DOI:
10.1111/adj.12611

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