Methods: Data were analyzed for 10,434 Appalachian CSHCN from the 2005-2006 and 7,637 children in 2001 utilizing the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Parents/guardians were asked if their child needed dental care within the previous year. Of those who reported a dental need, the question, “Did [child] receive all the dental care that he/she needed?” was posed. Prevalences of perceived unmet dental needs were assessed utilizing multivariate data analysis.
Results: Nationally, 10.4% (95% CI: 9.6, 11.1) of parents/guardians reported CSHCN had unmet dental need in 2001. In 2005-2006, the percentage was 2.6% (95% CI: 2.3, 2.8). In states containing Appalachian counties, 8.47% (95% CI: 8.05, 8.89) of parents/guardians reported CSHCN had unmet dental need in 2001. In 2005-2006, the percentage was 2.2% (95% CI: 1.7, 2.5). The results indicate a significant decrease in parent/guardian perceived unmet dental need in 2005-2006.
Conclusions: CSHCN comprise a group with a potential for greater dental needs and risks. Overall, there has been a significant national parent/guardian change in perception of unmet dental need for CSHCN and a similar significant change in perception in states containing Appalachian counties between 2001 and 2005-2006. Further research is needed to determine the correspondence with actual clinical assessment of treatment needs.
Keywords: Access, Children, Epidemiology and Utilization/demand
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research