Jamil NA.1, Mohd-Said S.2, Chau SH.1 and Sameeha MJ.1
1 Centre for Community Health Studies (ReaCH), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and periodontitis has called for many strategic approaches on good glycemic control and oral health practice for diabetes and periodontitis diseases. This study aimed to identify the barriers and challenges in managing patients with diabetes and periodontitis and issues related to the current practice.
Healthcare professionals employed in a public university hospital in Kuala Lumpur were interviewed regarding their experience and opinions on patient management. The verbal and nonverbal responses of the participants were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using themes codes.
Results & Discussion
A total of 15 healthcare professionals (mean age 41.9 years, SD 8.0) comprised of dietitians, diabetic educators, dental professionals, an endocrinologist, a health psychologist, and a pharmacist participated in the interviews. The common barriers faced by healthcare professionals when counseling patients included patients' attitude and behaviour, language barriers, and prioritising time. Limited awareness of the diabetes-periodontitis relationship, limited relevant and culturally-based health educational resources, a lack of inter-professional multidisciplinary teamwork in patients' management, and time and costly therapy were all common concerns in current practice.
Cost-effective efforts must be centred on addressing these issues to achieve better management outcomes. One possible approach is developing integrated nutrition and oral health education module as a practice guideline for healthcare professionals.