Inequalities in the dental health needs and access to dental services amongst Looked After Children in Scotland: a population data-linkage study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

E-pub ahead of print

Documents

  • McMahon, M.D. et al (2017) Inequalities in the dental health needs and access to dental services among looked after children in Scotland: a population data linkage study

    Rights statement: © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This article has been accepted for publication in Archives of Disease in Childhood following peer review. The definitive copyedited, typeset version [McMahon AD, Elliott L, Macpherson LM, et al Inequalities in the dental health needs and access to dental services among looked after children in Scotland: a population data linkage study Archives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 30 August 2017. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2016-312389] is available at the DOI link below.

    Accepted author manuscript, 715 KB, PDF-document

  • Alex D. McMahon
  • Lawrie Elliott
  • Lorna M.D. Macpherson
  • Katharine H. Sharpe
  • Graham Connelly
  • Ian Milligan
  • Philip Wilson
  • David Clark
  • Albert King
  • Rachael Wood
  • David I. Conway

View graph of relations

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Early online date30 Aug 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2017

Abstract

Background
There is limited evidence on the health needs and service access among children and young people who are looked after by the State. The aim of this study was to compare dental treatment need and access to dental services (as an exemplar of wider health and wellbeing concerns) among children and young people who are looked after with the general child population.
Methods
Population data linkage study utilising: national datasets of social work referrals for “looked after” placements, the Scottish census of children in local authority schools, and NHS dental health and service datasets.
Results 633204 children in publicly funded schools in Scotland during academic year 2011/12, of whom 10927 (1.7%) were known to be looked after during that or a previous (from 2007/08) year. The children in the LAC group were more likely to have urgent dental treatment need at 5-years of age: 23% vs 10% (n=209/16533), adjusted (for age, sex, and area socioeconomic deprivation) odds-ratio 2.65 (95%CI 2.30, 3.05); were less likely to attend a dentist regularly: 51% vs 63% (n=5519/388934), 0.55 (0.53, 0.58); and more likely to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic: 9% vs 5% (n=967/30253), 1.91 (1.78, 2.04).
Conclusions
Looked after children are more likely to have dental treatment needs and less likely to access dental services even when accounting for sociodemographic factors. Greater efforts are required to integrate child social and health care for looked after children and to develop preventive care pathways upon entering and throughout their time in the care system.

Keywords; LAC-Dental, Looked after children, data-linkage, dental caries, tooth extraction.


Keywords

  • dental health , dental services, looked after children, data-linkage study