Katerina Veneti1 / Stavros Stafylidis2 / Theodora Kafkia3 / Mixalis Kourakos4 / Konstantinos Antoniades5 / Christos Zilides6 / Stilianos Dalampiras5
1Theagenio Oncology Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
2Department of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Alexander Technological Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
4General Hospital “Asklepeion” Voulas, Athens, Greece
5School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
6Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Larisa, Greece
Background: Throughout the financial crisis in Greece, health expenditures have been significantly reduced. As a result, patients’ accessibility to various health care providers has been significantly reduced. The aim of the present study was to determine the profile of patients visiting a maxillofacial clinic in Northern Greece and the patients’ accessibility to the specific healthcare.
Material and Methods: Data were collected from 481, out of the 600, patients visiting for the first time the University Maxillofacial Clinic of a hospital in Northern Greece during 2013 and 2014. The sample was called to answer to an anonymous self-reference questionnaire with questions regarding their demographic and clinical characteristics, the pattern of their referral to the specific clinic, their city of residence, as well as information regarding their hospitalization.
Results: The majority of patients (53.4%) were referred by a physician, while 38.4% by a dentist. More than half (51.4%) were admitted to the specific clinic with admission diagnoses such as Benign Lesions-Cysts (25.2%), Masticatory Myalgia-Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (21.6%), Infections (19.5%) and Fractures (18%). The median time to seek to hospital evaluation/treatment, from the initial diagnosis, was 30 days. Nine out of ten patients stated that there was no Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic in their area of residence, while 80.3% reported using a private means of transport to access the clinic.
Conclusions: The results indicated a delay with respect to the final diagnosis, as well as difficulty in patients’ accessibility, something that could contribute to an increase in morbidity and subsequently in the cost for managing patients’ maxillofacial problems.
- Bonovas S, Nikolopoulos G. High-burden epidemics in Greece in the era of economic crisis. Early signs of a public health tragedy. J Prev Med Hyg, 2012; 53:169-171.
- Laverick S, Siddappa P, Jones DC. Patterns of emergency maxillofacial referrals and provision of services. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 2009; 47:99-101.
- Allen CM. Managed care and its relationship to oral and μaxillofacial pathology. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, 1996; 81:1996-1996.[Crossref]
- Haberland CM, Allen CM, Beck FM. Referral patterns, lesion prevalence, and patient care parameters in a clinical oral pathology practice. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, 1999; 87:583-588.[Crossref]
- Falagas ME, Vouloumanou EK, Mavros MN, Karageorgopoulos DE. Economic crises and mortality: a review of the literature. Int J Clin Pract, 2009; 63:1128-1135.[Crossref]
- Kentikelenis A, Karanikolos M, Papanicolas I, Basu S, McKee M, Stuckler D. Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy. The Lancet, 2011; 378:1457-1458.
- Kentikelenis A, Papanicolas I. Economic crisis, austerity and the Greek public health system. Eur J Public Health, 2012;22:4-5.[Crossref] [Web of Science]
- Galanis P. Validity and reliability of questionnaires in epidemiological studies. Arch Hell Med / Arheia Ellenikes Iatrikes, 2013; 30:97-110.
- Antunes JLF, Junqueira SR, Frazão P, Bispo CM, Pegoretti T, Narvai PC. City-level gender differentials in the prevalence of dental caries and restorative dental treatment. Heal Place, 2003; 9:231-239.
- Honorato J, Rebelo MS, Dias FL, Camisasca DR, Faria PA, E Silva GA, et al. Gender differences in prognostic factors for oral cancer. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 2015; 44:1205-1211.[Crossref]
- CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey. Dental visits in the past year, by selected characteristics: United States, selected years 1997–2014. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2014.htm#084
- Kondilis E, Giannakopoulos S, Gavana M, Ierodiakonou I, Waitzkin H, Benos A. Economic crisis, restrictive policies, and the population’s health and health care: the Greek case. Am J Public Health, 2013; 103:973-979.[Crossref] [Web of Science]
- Ursulica TE. The Relationship between Health Care Needs and Accessibility to Health Care Services in Botosani County-Romania. Procedia Environ Sci, 2016; 32:300-310.[Crossref]
- Kontodimopoulos N, Nanos P, Niakas D. Balancing efficiency of health services and equity of access in remote areas in Greece. Health Policy, 2006; 76:49-57.[Crossref]
- Niessen LC, Gibson G, Kinnunen TH. Women’s oral health. Why sex and gender matter. Dental Clinics of North America, 2013; 57:181-94.[Crossref]
Citation Information: Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine. Volume 21, Issue 1, Pages 19–23, ISSN (Online) 2335-0245, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bjdm-2017-0003, March 2017