Facilitators and Barriers to the Advancement of Oral Health on the Global Health Agenda: A Qualitative Study with Key Oral Health Stakeholders

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2022

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Abstract

Dental caries accounts for the primary burden of disease globally,1 a burden which falls heavily on those least able to access treatment.2 Despite this burden, oral health remains neglected on the global agenda. Thus, we sought to conduct a qualitative study to determine why oral health occupies the position it does on the global agenda as well as what factors might promote or prevent its ascent. Virtual interviews were conducted with key oral health stakeholders identified by the Lancet Commission on Oral Health and coded to reveal underlying themes. Our study found several reasons for the neglect of oral health by global health policymakers. These include the separation of oral health care from comprehensive health care; the lack of research and data on oral health; competing interests from multinational food companies that promote and sell sugary foods and beverages; and the dental profession’s propensity for treatment over prevention. Integration of oral health into UHC schemes, expanded research and data collection, sugar taxation, and task-shifting were identified as potential avenues to facilitate oral health’s prioritization on the global agenda.

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Byott, Yasmin Rauz (2022). Facilitators and Barriers to the Advancement of Oral Health on the Global Health Agenda: A Qualitative Study with Key Oral Health Stakeholders. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25330.

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