Barriers to the treatment of childhood caries perceived by dentists working in different countries

Cynthia M. Pine*, Pauline M. Adair, Girvan Burnside, Alison D. Nicoll, Angela Gillett, S. Aida Borges-Yáñez, Zdenek Broukal, John Brown, Dominique Declerck, Feng Xi Ping, Tshepo Gugushe, Jaranya Hunsrisakhun, Edward C.M. Lo, Sudeshni Naidoo, Ursuline Nyandindi, Vibeke Juul Poulsen, Noëline Razanamihaja, Christian Splieth, Betty King Sutton, Teo Choo SooHelen Whelton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


To explore whether dentists' beliefs and attitudes to providing preventive and restorative dental care for young children can form a barrier to the provision of care. Basic research design: the Barriers to Childhood Caries Treatment (BaCCT) Questionnaire, a standardised international measure was developed and applied. Participants: Through a research consortium, each site was asked to recruit 100 dentists. The sample participating was not intended to be nationally representative. Dentists were mainly randomly selected and contacted by mail with one or more mailings depending on site. Results: 2,333 dentists in 14 countries and 17 sites participated. Factor analysis identified four factors as potential barriers. Two factors were found to be barriers in many sites. First, in most countries, dentists agreed that young children's coping skills limit their ability to accept dental care. Secondly, dentists with negative personal feelings, for example, that providing care can be stressful and troublesome and that they feel time constrained. Differences in dentists' beliefs can be partly explained by their work profile, with those treating children often, and those working under systems where they feel they can provide quality care being least likely to identify barriers to providing care for children. Conclusions: The BaCCT Questionnaire was determined to be a valid psychometric measure. Separately, it was found that health systems do impact on dentists' ability to deliver preventive and restorative care for children but that these effects vary across countries and further work is needed to determine how best these should be examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number1 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Behavioural science
  • Children
  • Health services research
  • Treatment of caries


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