Umer Javed a, Sehrish Zafar b, Sana Javed b
|a||Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, United Kingdom|
|b||Rai Medical College, Sargodha, Pakistan|
Published: 26 December 2022
Oral health is one of the significant indicators determining the population’s overall health and well-being status. Good oral health is a fundamental human right irrespective of demographic differences. Therefore, this study compared the barriers to accessing oral healthcare facilities among males and females living in peri-urban communities. This comparative cross-sectional study was conducted in the peri-urban communities of Sargodha. Using the random number method, this study used a simple random sampling technique to identify 320 houses; 160 males and 160 females who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were interviewed. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test. The results showed that more males (78.13%) were users of dental services than females (53.75%); however, a meagre number of both genders were making regular visits to oral healthcare facilities. Expensive treatment was one of the significant barriers to visiting oral healthcare facilities for males (85.00%) and females (75.63%). Moreover, time shortage was a significant barrier, mainly reported by almost three-fourths of the males (72.50%), but fewer females (20.63%) considered it a vital barrier (p < 0.05). Furthermore, for both genders, various barriers varied widely, including fear of the dentist, avoiding treatment, lack of awareness, family pressure to avoid visiting clinics, and reliance on home remedies (p < 0.05). Therefore, this study concluded that more males than females visit oral healthcare services. However, most males and females do not visit oral healthcare facilities for regular checkups but for any oral health problem ailment. Both males and females make out-of-pocket expenditures to afford oral health services. Males preferred private oral healthcare facilities, whereas females preferred public healthcare facilities to provide oral healthcare services. Males and females observed the cost of treatment for oral healthcare issues, shortage of time, and fear as the key barriers to accessing oral healthcare facilities.
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