Older people and oral health: setting a patient-centred research agenda.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this pilot study was to provide the opportunity to enable older people to prioritise the research agenda to improve their own oral health. BACKGROUND: Little is known about the ageing population's views about their oral health from their perspective. Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) incorporate users' perspectives to prioritise research agendas and are based on a series of sequential steps to build consensus. This structured approach ensures their narrative and thoughts are heard and helps counter the 'top-down' medical model that can dominate healthcare services. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A PSP was undertaken with four key stakeholder groups: service users, carers, third sector and specialists. Six initial questions were posed to each group prior to a facilitated discussion led by one of the research team. Collective responses where then considered by a final consensus group. The views of the different groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis. RESULTS: The top three research priorities identified by the final group were to: (i) identify 'best practice' in the prevention and treatment of oral diseases for older people, (ii) identify the training needs for the dental profession and (iii) understand the key issues for older people from their perspective. Improving access to services, the importance of client appropriate information and the need for effective primary and secondary prevention were also articulated. CONCLUSION: Asking older people to prioritise the research agenda proved to be a positive experience. Key issues related to improving communication and the availability of appropriate evidence-based information on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalGerodontology
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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