Engaging Vocational Dental Practitioners in care of the dependent elderly: findings from a pilot project

Laura Beaton (Lead / Corresponding author), Jimmy Boyle, Calum Cassie, Linda Young, Jose Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Introduction A pilot project was developed whereby vocational dental practitioners (VDPs) became involved in the Caring for Smiles programme, visiting care homes and observing staff training. Aim The project aimed to explore VDPs' views and experiences of delivering oral healthcare in the care home environment. Method Qualitative data were collected via an online questionnaire and reflective logs. The data were analysed using thematic analysis to extract emerging themes. Results Six themes emerged from the data, demonstrating that the VDPs had become aware of the general health and oral health needs of the care home population, and their role as dentists in the provision of oral care. The VDPs also had an increased awareness of Caring for Smiles. Discussion The VDPs benefited from participation in the pilot; it raised their awareness but also exposed them to an environment with which many were unfamiliar. Some VDPs expressed an interest in providing oral care in care homes in the future and discussed the need for domiciliary care. Conclusion The participating VDPs gained a level of experience and familiarity with older patients, Caring for Smiles and the care home environment that may improve the care they provide to their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume228
Issue number4
Early online date28 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020

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