Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Study: Caregivers Key in DD Dental Care

BOSTON — Despite a policy focus on expanding access to care for adults with developmental disabilities, this vulnerable population continues to have significant dental disease. In this month's issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine report on the first large-scale survey to investigate factors influencing at-home oral care provided by caregivers to adults with developmental disabilities. The study findings suggest that, in addition to addressing access to care, policy initiatives must improve support for caregivers.
A patient at a Tufts dental clinic.
"While access to dental care is a necessary component of good oral health, it is not enough to guarantee positive oral health outcomes in this vulnerable population. Our findings highlight the need for additional training and support for caregivers in promoting oral health," said principal investigator and corresponding author Paula M. Minihan, Ph.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the department of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

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