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A survey of users of a Dental Access Centre situated in an area of mixed relative socio-economic affluence and deprivation

Harris, Rebecca and Burnside, Girvan (2007) A survey of users of a Dental Access Centre situated in an area of mixed relative socio-economic affluence and deprivation. Primary Dental Care, 14 (4). pp. 157-162. ISSN 1741-9344 (Online); 1355-7610 (Print)

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Abstract

Objective: To describe the users of a Dental Access Centre (DAC) situated in an area of England with a mixed socioeconomic profile, their pattern of use, and their perception of the role of the service. Method: A sample of users was drawn from a DAC in Cheshire’s clinical database. A postal questionnaire was sent to these users via a three-stage mailing, using a prize draw incentive to promote response. After the third mailing stage, non-responders were also contacted by telephone. Results: A high proportion of users lived relatively near the DAC. Over 80% of respondents were unregistered with a dentist in Cheshire. The centre appeared to be used for symptomatic care only, with no respondents reporting using the centre for routine care (including check-ups). Conclusion: The role of DACs was originally envisaged as providing a service for unregistered patients wanting convenient, accessible, emergency care, and as providing routine National Health Service (NHS) care, including check-ups in geographical areas where there is limited availability of NHS care in general dental practice. In a geographical area with low dental need, one might expect the DAC to fulfil the second of these roles. However, this study suggests that even in this type of area, users of the DAC who responded to the questionnaire viewed it as a source of emergency care and not as a provider of routine care.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:dental access centre, emergency dental care, walk-in centres
Subjects:R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Sciences
DOI:10.1308/135576107782144252
Publisher's Statement:This article has been reproduced from Primary Dental Care.
Refereed:Yes
Status:Published
ID Code:257
Deposited On:12 Nov 2008 11:50
Last Modified:20 May 2011 18:29

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