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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Services vs. needs : availability of services and self-perceived oral health needs for people living with human immunodeficiency virus in British Columbia, Canada Jessani, Abbas Ali


Objectives: To conduct an environmental scan of unmet dental treatment needs and patterns of dental service utilization of People Living with Immunodeficiency Virus (PLWHIV) in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Methods: An online environmental scan identified services available for PLWHIV in BC. Participants were asked to respond anonymously to a 40-item questionnaire. Associations between the psychosocial factors and outcome variables were evaluated using simple and multiple logistic regression analyses. Results: A total of 104 HIV organizations were identified in BC and less than 3% of the organizations offered dental care. Most of the services identified were distributed within the geographical location of Vancouver Coastal Health which has the highest prevalence of PLHIV in BC. Amongst the 186 participants who responded to the survey, majority of the respondents were male (n = 118; 63%) and were born in Canada (n = 116; 68%). Approximately 40% (n = 74) rated the health of their mouth as fair/poor and 60% (n = 112) reported having one or more unmet dental treatment need. In multiple logistic regression analysis, dental anxiety (OR = 0.1; 95% CI 0.0; 0.4), having a regular dentist (OR = 3.7; 95% CI 1.1; 12.6) and visiting a dental office in the last year (OR = 21.6; 95% CI 6.1; 76.5) were the strongest predictors for the unmet dental treatment needs and last dental visit. Conclusion: Services in general might be available where PLHIV live, but fall short in other areas; dental services are lacking across BC despite participants having high treatment needs.

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