Receipt of dental care and barriers encountered by persons with disabilities

Tanya Rouleau, Amanda Harrington, Michael Brennan, Flora Hammond, Mark Hirsch, Marcy Nussbaum, William Bockenek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to describe the receipt of dental care by patients with disabilities and to understand their perspective with regard to barriers to dental care. Subjects for this study were recruited among patients with disabilities seen at Carolinas Rehabilitation's outpatient clinic. A questionnaire consisting of 66 questions was completed by 344 subjects; with the topics related to both medical and dental care. Among the study population, 57.2% of subjects reported being seen by a dentist within the last 12 months, versus 67.3% before they became disabled. The last dental appointment was a routine examination for 59.5% of the respondents. Since becoming disabled, 16.6% of subjects reported problems receiving dental care. Financial challenges were the primary problem followed by physical accessibility issues. Further research is required to discover how barriers to care can be overcome to assure that those with disabilities receive adequate dental care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral risk factor surveillance system
  • dental care for disabled
  • disabled persons
  • oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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  • Cite this

    Rouleau, T., Harrington, A., Brennan, M., Hammond, F., Hirsch, M., Nussbaum, M., & Bockenek, W. (2011). Receipt of dental care and barriers encountered by persons with disabilities. Special Care in Dentistry, 31(2), 63-67.