Caregiver Burdens and Preventive Dental Care for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disability and/or Mental Health Conditions: National Survey of CSHCN, 2009-2010

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Objective—The purpose of this study is to examine the burdens of caregivers on one perception of the need and receipt of preventive dental care for a subset of children with special health care needs—children with Autism Spectrum disorder, developmental disability and/or mental health conditions (CASD/DD/MHC). Methods—The authors used the 2009–2010 National Survey of CSHCN. The survey included questions addressing preventive dental care and caregivers’ financial, employment, and timerelated burdens. The associations of these burdens on perceptions and receipt of preventive dental care use were analyzed with bivariate Chi square analyses and multinomial logistic regressions for CASD/DD/MHC (N=16,323). Results—Overall, 16.3% of CASD/DD/MHC had an unmet preventive dental care need. There were 40.0% of caregivers who reported financial burden, 20.3% who reported employment burden, and 10.8% who reported time burden. A higher percentage of caregivers with financial burden, employment burden, and time-related burden reported that their CASD/DD/MHC did not receive needed preventive dental care (14.1 %, 16.5%, 17.7% respectively) compared to caregivers without financial, employment, or time burdens (9.0%, 9.6%, 11.0% respectively). Caregivers with financial burden (adjusted multinomial odds ratio, 1.38 [95%CI: 1.02, 1.86]) and employment burden (adjusted multinomial odds ratio, 1.45 [95%CI: 1.02, 2.06]) were more likely to report that their child did not receive preventive dental care despite perceived need compared to caregivers without financial or employment burdens. Conclusions for practice—Unmet needs for preventive dental care were associated with employment and financial burdens of the caregivers of CASD/DD/MHC.