Satisfaction with Dental Case Management Among People Living with HIV/AIDS
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We evaluated access to and satisfaction with dental services for people living with HIV/AIDS receiving services from a dental case manager (DCM). People living with HIV/AIDS who had received dental services at two Community Dental Centers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts were eligible to participate in a mailed, anonymous return, Dental Satisfaction Survey (N = 160). Overall, respondents were satisfied with the dental care they had received. Most patients (58%) were new to the practice and were more likely to report that they had not been seen by a dental provider for more than 12 months (OR 3.0, P = 0.044). The majority of respondents reported that they heard about the clinic from local agencies. Of respondents recognizing they had a DCM, almost all answered that their DCM had helped them receive the care they needed. Respondents who agreed that they sometimes avoided going to the dentist due to pain were significantly more likely to report that they had a dental case manager than patients who disagreed (OR 3.42, P = 0.027). When patients were asked how their DCM had helped them, themes identified included: assisting with access to dental care, conducting a needs assessment, and providing comfort. People living with HIV/AIDS often have unmet needs regarding dental care. The addition of the DCM to the dental facility appears to facilitate access to dental care for those connected to medical care through community outreach/partnerships and provides some respondents with an identified dental advocate.
KeywordsDental case management HIV/AIDS Survey
The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Rebecca Kuklinski and Suzanne North in the implementation of the survey used in this study. The first author would also like to thank her MPH Project Committee members, J. Lee Hargraves, PhD and Suzanne B. Cashman, ScD, for their contribution to this project. This study was funded by Health Resources and Service Administration, Special Projects of National Significance.
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