September 2009

Volume 26, Issue 3

Hopelessness, depression and oral health concerns reported by community dwelling older Australians

Authors: S. Quine S. Morrell
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2310Quine06


Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to explore whether, and if so to what extent, there is an association between self-reported oral and mental health problems, and if this association exists after controlling for self-rated physical health and age. Research Design: A large cross-sectional population-based telephone health survey with participants selected using random stratified sampling. The response rate was 71%. Survey weights were used for estimating proportions and for all statistical inferences. Setting and Participants: Participants (n=8,881) were community-dwelling older people (65+ years) living independently in New South Wales, Australia. Measures and Analysis: The following measures were used in the analysis: physical health (1 item); oral health (5 items), mental health (2 items). Trends in prevalences across groups were analysed using the Cochrane-Armitage trend test. Logistic regression modelling was conducted to account for the main confounders of age and self-rated physical health, and attributable fractions calculated. Results: Both measures of mental health, feeling hopeless and feeling depressed, were significantly and positively associated with increased reporting of oral health concerns in both males and females. Logistic regression modelling showed that most of the oral health items remained strongly associated with mental health after controlling for self- rated physical health and age. The attributable fractions demonstrated that a proportion of the mental health problems identified in older people would be reduced if oral health concerns were adequately addressed. Conclusions: The findings highlight the association between oral and mental health, and provide evidence to support the expansion of publicly funded dental health services. Key words: Australia, mental health, older adults, oral health.


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - The contributions of Edward H. Angle to dental public health 130-131 Download
The fractional urinary fluoride excretion of adults consuming naturally and artificially fluoridated water and the influence of water hardness: A randomized trial. 132-137 Download
The prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the high and low altitude parts of Central Plateau, Nigeria 138-142 Download
Prevalence of enamel defects related to pre-, peri- and postnatal factors in a Brazilian population. 143-149 Download
Development of a psychometric scale to assess satisfaction with dental care among Sri Lankans 150-156 Download
Consent of older children participating in BASCD coordinated dental epidemiology surveys in Wales. 157-161 Download
Predicting relative need for urgent dental care 162-169 Download
A comparison of Personal Dental Service (PDS) and General Dental Service (GDS) patients in terms of reported interventions, oral health and dentists’ perceptions 170-176 Download
Hopelessness, depression and oral health concerns reported by community dwelling older Australians 177-182 Download
Higher-order exploratory factor analysis of the Dental Subscale of Children’s Fear Survey Schedule in a Taiwanese population. 183-187 Download
Opportunities and challenges to promoting oral health in primary schools 188-192 Download


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