Mental Health and Healthcare Facilities: The Case of the Oral Maxillofacial Practice
AIM: The aim of the study is to analyze and understand the deeper causes that lead
individuals suffering from mental illnesses to fear pain and especially pain caused
during the dental examination, repair or extraction of teeth.
METHOD: A qualitative research was conducted with semi- structured interviews in
«Evagelismos» Hospital in Athens, Greece. Participants were patients suffering from
mental illness who had several problems with their mouth and teeth. 17 interviews
were conducted with participants who visited the hospital in order to visit the dentist
and maxillofacial department. Interviews were analyzed by thematic analysis and the
main topics were the Satisfaction of participants with hospital services, Doctor-patient
communication, the trust in doctors, the Physical and oral hygiene of mentally ill patients
and the medication use.
RESULTS: Participants were mostly satisfied with the healthcare services offered by
the physicians of the hospital and the equipment of the hospital. Almost all of the
interviewed participants reported trusting the physicians and followed their instructions.
About 60% of the participants took care of their teeth daily. About 45% of the
participants reported experiencing increasing stress levels during the dental examination.
The analysis of the interviews revealed particularly useful information for understanding
the deeper causes, triggering difficult psychological conditions as well as
anxiety in mentally ill individuals when faced with health problems and oral hygiene.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that the majority of patients were satisfied by the
services they received. A further investigation is needed to record the factors that affect
significantly in the upgrading of service quality.
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