Objective: The aim of this study was to gain greater in-depth understanding of why elderly patients who are currently dissatisfied with conventional dentures decline implant treatment.
Background: There is strong evidence from high-quality randomised controlled trials to support the use of implant-supported overdentures for the restoration of the edentulous mandible. However, whilst recruiting for randomised clinical trials, researchers have found that a high proportion of potential subjects decline participation, despite the removal of financial constraints.
Materials and methods: The study adopted a qualitative approach to provide a rich and deep understanding of people's reasons for refusal. Data were collected through focus group interviews in a two-centre study based in Montreal, Canada and Newcastle, UK. A semi-structured interview schedule was used and iteratively developed as analysis identified themes from previous focus groups. Transcripts of focus groups were coded and emergent themes determined.
Results: Two main themes emerged; patients' fear and anxiety (relating to the pain of surgery, complications of the procedure and immediate post-surgical denture use), and the appropriateness of the procedure in an elderly person.
Conclusions: Fears of pain, complications and social embarrassment, exacerbated by age, are important factors that help explain refusal of implants by elderly patients.
© 2010 The Gerodontology Society and John Wiley & Sons A/S.