Revisiting the status of oral health services in adult PM&R programs: a 40-year follow-up survey

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Purpose:This survey compared the status of oral health service access and needs for adult Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) patients over a 40-year period.Methods:This report compares two surveys (1974 vs. 2014) of Directors of PM&R residency programs in the United States. The same 14 survey questions used in 1974 survey were repeated in 2014, with four new questions added.Results:The major comparative findings about oral health services were that while perceived need remained high and availability and adequacy of dental care remained low, program directors indicated a slightly lessened desirability, feasibility and overall support for the concept of integrating oral health services into their PM&R program in the 2014 survey.Conclusion:These findings show that 40 years has not brought better access to oral health care for adult PM&R patients, only a slightly lessened enthusiasm in the program directors. Future research should explore the reasons underlying these disappointing outcomes.

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