Oral health problems and support as experienced by people with severe mental illness living in community-based subsidised housing – a qualitative study

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Oral health problems and support as experienced by people with severe mental illness living in community-based subsidised housing – a qualitative study

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Oral health problems and support as experienced by people with severe mental illness living in community-based subsidised housing – a qualitative study
Author(s) Persson, Karin ; Östman, Margareta ; Olin, Elisabeth
Date 2010
English abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how persons with severe mental illness (SMI) experience oral health problems (especially dry mouth), and weigh the support they received in this regard from professionals and staff at community-based congregate housing through a controlled intervention programme. Oral health problems and dry mouth are found in association with apathy and indifference, cognitive deficits, and long-term medication with psycho-pharmacological drugs. The present study describes the results from one part of a longitudinal intervention programme, which sought effective ways of mitigating dry mouth through increased support with oral health problems. This part consists of 67 informal interviews with ten participants in two community-based urban housing projects between November 2006 and June 2007, with a follow-up session in December 2007. Content analysis of the results yielded five categories: The shame of having poor dental health, history of dental care, experiences of self-care, handling of oral health problems, and experiences of staff support. Poor oral health caused shame and limited participation in social activities. Participants avoided oral health issues by such circumventions as denial of a tooth ache or dental infections, or postponing oral problems with the hope that they would die away. Offers of support were frequently resisted because of unsatisfactory prior encounters with dental professionals and staff. Our findings suggest that self-care needs to be facilitated in an unobtrusive manner with minimal staff involvement, and clients should be referred to dental care providers experienced in treating people with SMI.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2010.00931.x (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Wiley Blackwell
Host/Issue Health & social care in the community;5
Volume 18
ISSN 1365-2524
Pages 529-536
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) community-based housing,
perceived support
oral health
severe mental illness
qualitative study
xerostomia
Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12903 (link to this page)

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