Oral Health Care in Patients with Severe Mental Illness in Wyoming

Reeves, Carole Lee
Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI) have higher rates of mortality and shorter life expectancy (i.e., about 25-30 fewer years of life) than the general population. Death due to coronary heart disease (CHD) is the largest contributor to the increased mortality rate in this population. Oral health is particularly important because medical links have been found between CHD and poor oral health (Matevosyan, 2009). Oral health remains a low priority when treating SMI patients (Matevosyan, 2009). The overall objective of this research is to conduct semi-structured interviews focused on oral health in Wyoming's SMI population. This study will address, from the patients' perspective, the state of their oral health, oral health care needs, barriers, and, if possible issues related to provider interactions. As with any semi-structured interview, the participant will be the guide in the discussion. A total of 10 men and 10 women will be invited to participate in a 90-minute semi-structured interview. The interview will be audio-taped and transcribed within one week of the interview.
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University of Wyoming Libraries