Type II diabetes and oral health: Perceptions among adults with diabetes and oral/health care providers in Ghana

H. L. Broder, D. Tormeti, A. L. Kurtz, D. Baah-Odoom, R. M. Hill, S. M. Hirsch, S. A. Hewlett, J. K. Nimako-Boateng, J. Y. Rodriguez, L. Sischo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study sought to examine oral health beliefs and attitudes, and utilisation of oral health care services among individuals with diabetes and health professionals who serve them in Ghana. Basic Research Design: A qualitative study using grounded theory was conducted. Clinical Setting: University of Ghana Dental School at Korle Bu, University of Ghana School of Public Health, National Diabetes Research and Management Centre at Korle Bu, and New York University College of Dentistry. Participants: A convenience sample of 59 patients comprised 7 focus groups conducted in either Twi or English. Seven key informant interviews with healthcare professionals and one spiritual leader were completed. Results: Data from the focus groups and interviews reveal: 1, half of the participants with diabetes have oral manifestations (e.g., bleeding gums) and participants are generally unaware of interrelationship between diabetes and oral health; 2, dental treatment utilisation is minimal and associated almost exclusively with reparative and emergency care; and 3, medical health providers do not acknowledge the interrelationship between oral health and diabetes nor do they incorporate oral health issues into diabetes screening/treatment. Conclusion: Oral health knowledge and practices are limited among patients with diabetes in Accra, Ghana. Collaborative efforts for in-service education and training for oral health and medical professionals may be beneficial in serving the oral and general health care needs as well as improving the oral health-related quality of life of Ghanaians with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Health literacy
  • Oral health
  • Periodontitis
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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