Perceived barriers to the preservation and improvement of children’s oral health among Iranian women: a qualitative study

  • Z. Momeni
  • K. SargeranEmail author
  • R. Yazdani
  • S. Shahbazi Sighaldeh
Original Scientific Article



To explore perceptions of Iranian mothers regarding barriers to preserving and improving oral health among their children.


The present qualitative study was part of a larger sequential exploratory mixed-method study conducted in Tehran, Iran, from April to May 2015. Data were collected via 10 focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews to gain an understanding of the perception held by the mothers of school-aged children about barriers to oral health improvement. Sampling was purposive and was continued until data saturation was reached. The study population consisted of 58 Iranian women who had at least one child in school. Data were analysed using conventional content analysis.


Three key themes of oral health barriers were identified as follows: (1) barriers in the system or at the organisational level, (2) barriers at the provider level, and (3) barriers at the family level. Informants reported cost, lack of full-coverage insurance, low access to dental services, and fear and anxiety as the main barriers.


The major barriers to oral health care were fear and the cost of dental treatments. These predictors need to be addressed when designing programs to increase access of children to dental services.


Oral health Qualitative research Barriers Child Iran 



The authors would like to thank the participants for their sincere cooperation in this study as well as the teachers and school staff.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Oral Health, School of DentistryTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Research Centre for Caries Prevention, Dentistry Research InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and MidwiferyTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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