Aims: (1) To deepen knowledge on how specialized health care professionals (HCPs) reflect on encounters with children diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and (2) to outline a theory for orofacial care.
Keywords: interdisciplinary network, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, oral health, professional care, qualitative
Methods: Grounded theory was used to discover the psychosocial processes involved in communication between HCPs, children, and parents, and this information was used to develop a theory about these processes. Using classic grounded theory, a total of 20 interviews with HCPs were analyzed.
Results: One main concern, “secure health and biopsychosocial development,” permeated all care. A core category was identified as “create a responsive interaction with the child and family.” The data that supported this core category helped to explain how the HCP responded to a patient to promote orofacial health. Based on the dentist’s responses to the child, eight subcategories were identified: (1) secure confidential relationships; (2) convey disease-specific knowledge; (3) communicate healthy findings and form mutual insights at examination; (4) encourage health-promoting behaviors; (5) ensure follow-up; (6) share perspectives; (7) guide parenting; and (8) improve knowledge and networks.
Conclusion: How the dentist shall best understand the needs of a child diagnosed with JIA requires further evaluation. To promote oral health, the child must feel safe, confirmed, and supported with knowledge. Also, further studies are needed on the dentist’s collaboration with the pediatrician and the physiotherapist for contributing to overall health.