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Access and Availability of dental care to Paediatric special needs patients in Saudi Arabia - Research Proposal Example

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A number of studies have so far be carried out on the emerging dental health needs of the children of Saudi Arabia and also those with special needs among them (Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene, 2000; Al-Malik and Rehbini, 2006; Murshid, 2005). These studies have…
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Access and Availability of dental care to Paediatric special needs patients in Saudi Arabia
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OF ACESS AND AVAILABILITY OF DENTAL CARE TO PAEDIATRIC SPECIAL NEEDS PATIENTS IN SAUDI ARABIA Access and Availability of Dental Care to Pediatric Special Needs Patients in Saudi Arabia
A number of studies have so far be carried out on the emerging dental health needs of the children of Saudi Arabia and also those with special needs among them (Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene, 2000; Al-Malik and Rehbini, 2006; Murshid, 2005). These studies have indicated that there is an alarming situation prevailing in dental care sector of the nation and especially with respect to pediatric dentistry. An oral health survey conducted by Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene (2000) among the children of National Guards in Saudi Arabia showed that a high rate of occurrence of oral diseases prevail among this group (p.43). The general oral hygiene of these chidlren were also found to be very low (Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene, 2000, p.43). This study had recommended an oral health program to be implemented through the educational institutions (Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene, 2000, p.43). Further studies to identify the specific factors leading to the problem was also suggested by this study (Al-Banyan, Echeverri, Narendran and Keene, 2000, p.43). Al-Malik and Rehbini (2006) have also pointed to the high level of caries in children in Saudi Arabia as compared to children in other countries and called for immediate intervention through school intervention programs. Especially when it comes to special needs patients like children with autism, the negative behavior of such children towards treatment or any similar problems in case of other special needs groups, will limit their access to and availability of dental care and treatment (Murshid, 2005). It is this existing research highlights along with the case studies displaying the high prevalence of oral problems among special needs children that was witnessed while working with them that prompted this researcher to explore further in this area of study. Though the research works mentioned above have exhibited that there is a high level of oral health problems in children with special needs in Saudi Arabia, none of them have thrown light upon to what extent this problems gets addressed. It is not revealed whether these children have access to and availability of appropriate and efficient dental care in the present context in Saudi Arabia. Only by assessing the lacuna that is there, further steps can be taken to address the oral health needs of these special needs children. Hence this researcher is of the belief that this study on the access and availability of dental care to special needs children in Saudi Arabia can add valuable information on the same and can further help formulate intervention methods and steps.
Research questions
1. Do special needs children in Saudi Arabia have sufficient access to efficient dental care?
2. Do these children/parents have sufficient dental care institutions with sufficient infrastructure facilities in their locality that can cater to their dental care needs?
3. Do these children/parents have sufficient financial resources to get their children efficiently treated in these facilities whenever necessary?
4. Does the Saudi government or health department has any financial or other support mechanisms to ensure children with special needs get sufficient dental care despite their location or financial status?
5. Do the institutions mentioned in the second question have sufficient trained and qualified personnel to meet the dental care needs of children with special needs that approach them?
Theoretical framework / methodology
This paper will be utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. This research project will combine a survey questionnaire addressed to a snoweball sample (40 numbers) from among the schoolteachers of Saudi Arabia, who have been teaching children with special needs for at least three years. The snowball sampling method is a method of samplingthat is based on “the researcher identifying a small number of subjects with the required characteristics, who in turn identify others” (Black, 2001, p.55). This method is adopted because owing to very little research being done so far in the selected topic, the researcher is not much aware of “the size or extent of (…) [the] population” involved (Black, 2001, p.55). The questionnaire will be prepared based on the research questions. Also, a literature review research will be carried out of the existing research in the field that has been done in the last 10 years and the results will be triangulated. A research literature review has been defined as “a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholar, and practitioners” (Fink, 2009, p.3). This combination of methodologies is the best for this investigation in many ways. The school teachers dealing with children with special needs will be the best group to give valid information about their dental needs just because they are the ones who interact with them on a day to day basis, and also give suggestions to the parents on oral hygiene. The review of the existing research can help identify the aspects that have been already explored and thereby help focus on not so investigated aspects of the topic. The field work (survey using questionnaire) will be carried out in two selected administrative provinces of Saudi Arabia so as to enhance validity through comparing results from the two provinces.
Data Collection and Analysis
Data will be collected directly by the researcher from the participants of the research using the questionnaire. Data analysis will be done following statistical calculations as well as approved qualitative analysis methods.
Time scale
The study will be completed within the time frame of 6 months.
Review of literature- 1 month
Data Collection- 2 months
Data Analysis and final paper- 3 months
The results of this research paper can be published through news papers and television as the policy makers can find the information useful in making plans for improving the dental health status of special needs children.
Al-Banyan, R.A., Echeverri, E.A., Narendran, S. and Keene, H.J. 2000. Oral health survey of 5-
12-year-old children of National Guard Employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, International
Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, 10, pp.39-45.
Al-Malik, M.I. and Rehbini, Y.A. 2006. Prevalence of dental caries, severity, and pattern in age 6
to 7-year-old children in a selected community in Saudi Arabia, The Journal of
Contemporary Dental Practice, vol. 7, no.2, pp.1-8.
Black, T.R. 2001. Understanding social science research, SAGE, London.
Fink, A. 2009. Conducting research literature reviews: From the internet to paper, SAGE,
Murshid, E.Z. December 2005. Oral health status, dental needs, habits, and behavioral attitude
towards dental treatment of a group of autistic children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saudi
Dental Journal, vol.17, no.3, pp.132-139. Read More
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