Barriers for why pregnant women do not visit a dentist on a regular basis: using group concept mapping methodology
Periodontitis in pregnancy represents a significant, but often overlooked challenge due to its association to adverse pregnancy (preeclampsia and gestational diabetes) and birth related outcomes (preterm birth and low birth weight). The overall study aim was to identify, organize, and prioritize barriers influencing dental visits among Danish pregnant women not seeing a dentist on a regularly basis.
Participants were pregnant women screened at weeks 11–13 of gestation, and were recruited if they were not seeing a dentist regularly. The study was conducted at Holbæk and Nykøbing Falster Hospital in Region Zealand, Denmark. The Group Concept Mapping (GCM) approach was applied. The pregnant women participated in brainstorming (n = 18), sorting (n = 20), and rating (n = 17) the seating question ‘Thinking as broadly as you can, please list all barriers of importance to you for not seeing a dentist on a regular basis’.
A total of 38 unique barriers were identified, organized, and prioritized online. The multidimensional scaling analysis involved 10 iterations and revealed a low stress value of 0.21. A cluster solution with five clusters including ‘economic reasons’, ‘lack of priority’, ‘lack of time and energy’, ‘no problems with teeth’, and ‘dental fear’, was discussed and interpreted at a validation meeting.
Five overall clusters explaining barriers for not seeing a dentist regularly were revealed. Of the five clusters, ‘economic reasons’ and ‘lack of priority’ were rated as the most important clusters. Accordingly, such barriers should be considered in the planning of future strategies of dental care during pregnancy.