The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate the perceptions of a group of mothers of children and
adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) concerning the overall health and oral health of their children. MATERIALS AND
The information was collected interviewing in depth 19 mothers using an open-ended orientation form. To
investigate the perceptions of the mothers was carried out a thematic content analysis. Two general themes were addressed:
mothers' perceptions concerning the health of the child with DS and mothers' opinion on the impact of oral health on the life
of the child with DS. Results According to the interviews, for the mothers, overall health and oral health entail specificities
associated mainly with the absence of illness, the performance of daily activities, and feelings of well-being. Mothers tended
to hold themselves accountable for their children's health status. Within the situations these women experience, many of the
interviewees reported difficulties in caring for their children's oral health.
Factors linked to financial
constraints, time, and access to healthcare referral services hamper the search for specialised dental care for individuals
with special needs.
Vol.11 – n.1/2010
Harvard: A. C. Oliveira, I. A. Pordeus, C. L. Luz, S. M. Paiva (2010) "Mothers' perceptions concerning oral health of children and adolescents with Down syndrome: a qualitative approach", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 11(1), pp27-30. doi:
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