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Insights into the oral health beliefs and practices of mothers from a north London Orthodox Jewish community

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Author(s): Scambler Sasha | Klass Charlotte | Wright Desmond | Gallagher Jennifer

Journal: BMC Oral Health
ISSN 1472-6831

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background The objective of this study was to explore oral health knowledge and beliefs and access to dental care in a culturally distinct Orthodox Jewish community in North London, with a view to informing local health policy. Methods A dual method qualitative approach to data collection was adopted in this study utilising semi-structured face to face interviews and focus groups with women from this North London orthodox Jewish community. In total nine interviews and four focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of thirty three mothers from the community aged 21-58 years. The data were transcribed and analysed using Framework Methodology Results Cultural influences, competing pressures and perceptions of hereditary influences, together with a lack of contemporary oral health knowledge are the main factors affecting oral health knowledge and beliefs. This supported an overall perspective of disempowerment or a perceived lack of control over oral health behaviours, both for mothers and their children. Community signposting pointed mothers to dental services, whilst family pressures together with inadequate capacity and capability and generic barriers such as fear and cost acted as barriers. Mothers from this community welcomed community development initiatives from the NHS. Conclusions The results of this study provide insight into the challenges of a culturally isolated community who would welcome community support through schools and expanded culturally appropriate opening hours to improve access to dental care.
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