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The oral health concerns of rheumatoid arthritis patients: Listening to patients

Journal: Chronic Diseases Journal (Vol.11, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 29-37

Keywords : Oral Health; Arthritis; Rheumatoid; Health Services;

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BACKGROUND: There is a higher prevalence of oral health problems among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than the general population. Receiving and continuing dental treatment is challenging for this patient group for many reasons. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the most common oral concerns and the barriers and facilitators of access to dental health care through a qualitative evaluation. METHODS: In this study, an interpretative/hermeneutic approach was used. Through purposive sampling, 50 RA patients (38 women and 12 men) who referred to 3 rheumatology centers in Yazd, Iran, between May and July 2021 were recruited. Sampling was continued until data saturation was reached. To determine the main oral concerns of patients, unstructured interviews and an audio recorder were used for face-to-face interviews. RESULTS: The information extracted from the questionnaires and recorded information were classified into 4 main themes: 1) physical limitations of RA patients in chewing, swallowing, or following oral hygiene instructions; 2) pain and discomfort that RA patients reported in their mouth and teeth; 3) social and psychological limitations; and 4) barriers and facilitators of dental treatments. CONCLUSION: Due to differences in the level of awareness and unique systemic conditions of each interviewee, they had different oral health-related concerns. It seems that a comprehensive approach is necessary to adapt oral health services to the needs of this population. We hope that our findings can help determine the priorities of oral and dental care in these patients and simplify their access to dental services.

Last modified: 2023-04-25 18:28:19