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J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Dec;144(12):1372-8.

The impact of an oral health program on domestic violence survivors within community shelters.

Author information

1
Dr. Abel is an associate dean, Student, Community and Professional Initiatives, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 325F Squire Hall, Buffalo, N.Y. 14214-8006, sabel2@buffalo.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The authors conducted a study to evaluate the impact of an oral health treatment program on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) for women who were domestic violence (DV) survivors living in community shelters.

METHODS:

After completing DV education, dental residents provided treatment to female survivors of DV (n = 37) at on-site clinics. They administered pretest and posttest surveys to participants to assess their OHRQoL in terms of pain, impact of oral health on functioning and discomfort, embarrassment and quality of life overall to the participants. The authors also administered patient satisfaction surveys to participants to assess their satisfaction with treatment and the program.

RESULTS:

Participants reported significantly improved OHRQoL for seven of the eight items assessed (P < .05). They were satisfied with their treatment and with dental residents' performance.

CONCLUSIONS:

The program was effective and well received. Practical Implications. By participating in a one-day DV education program and using portable dental equipment installed in community shelters, dental residents and dentists can provide much needed dental treatment to a population of women who otherwise may not seek or have access to oral health care. Treatment can play an important role in DV survivors' self-esteem and reintegration into normal social and workplace activities.

KEYWORDS:

Oral health; community dentistry; domestic violence; women’s health

PMID:
24282267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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