Dental Care for Children with Disabilities: The Experience of Parents-Carers after the Financial Crisis in Greece (A Quality Study in Thessaloniki)
Asian Journal of Dental Sciences,
Objective: The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences of parents and carers of adolescents with disabilities and learning difficulties in terms of their dental problems and their access to dental care. The study focused on exploring parents daily experiences when seeking dental care. The ultimate objective of the study was to identify ways to improve the quality of dental care for adolescents with disabilities and learning difficulties.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted through twenty semi-structured interviews with parents of adolescents with disabilities and learning difficulties. The method of thematic analysis was employed by the researchers towards the analysis of the qualitative data collected from the interviews.
Results: The following themes emerged during the thematic analysis: 1) parents’ experiences from the shock of their child’s first diagnosis towards the process of acceptance of their child’s disability or learning difficulty. 2) Erosion of family cohesion. 3) High demands of parents’ daily life. 4) Bureaucracy. 5) Financial challenges and unfulfilled health needs. 6) Organizational weaknesses. 7) Underestimation of dental care needs. 8) Search for quality therapeutic relationships. 9) Emotional distress from stigma and bulling. 10) Need for an individualized approach depending on the type and severity of the disability and learning difficulty. 11) Anxiety about the future including the need for social protection. 12) Encouragement of children's progress.
Conclusions: Many challenges have emerged during the study towards parents’ search for quality primary and secondary dental care for their children. Some of these challenges include but are not limited to the lack of provision of information, barriers inaccessibility, long waiting lists, high private expenses, etc.
- People with disabilities
- primary dental care
- secondary dental care
- financial crisis.
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