Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dental appointment no-shows: why do some parents fail to take their children to the dentist?

ULRIKA HALLBERG, ELISABETH CAMLING, INGEGERD ZICKERT, AGNETA ROBERTSON, ULF BERGGREN
Dental appointment no-shows: why do some parents fail to take their children to the dentist?
International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry (OnlineEarly Articles).
doi:10.1111/j.1365-263X.2007.00867.x



Background. Children are considerably dependent on their parents, not least in relation to achieving good oral health. There is a group of children who do not show up for dental treatments or only regular check-ups despite reminders from the dental health clinic. The cost of patients failing to come for scheduled appointments is also considered significant.

Aim. The aim of this study was to illuminate the main problem explaining why some parents fail to bring their children to the dental health clinics or to encourage and supervise them when they can take the responsibility themselves for dental treatments or only regular dental check-ups.

Design. In-depth interviews were carried out with 16 parents of children who regularly had failed to turn up for appointments at the dental health clinic. The verbatim transcribed interviews were analysed in line with the guidelines for grounded theory.

Results. A core category, ‘being overloaded in daily life’, emerged from the data and formed, together with three additional related categories, a conceptual model.

Conclusions. Our results indicate that these families experience an overload of demands related to their daily living and survival. Health-promoting efforts in the form of regular dental check-ups for their children have low priority for them.

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