March 2010

Volume 27, Issue 1

Social inequality in perceived oral health among Sri Lankan adolescents

Authors: I. Perera L. Ekanayake
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2349Ekanayake06

Abstract

Objectives: to assess socio-economic inequalities in two perceived oral health outcomes namely perceived oral health status and perceived oral impacts among adolescents in Sri Lanka. Design: A cross-sectional study where the data where collected by means of structured questionnaires to the children and their parents. Participants: A total 1,225 15-year-old adolescents attending state, private and international schools in the Colombo district of Sri Lanka. Results: Inverse social gradients in perceived oral health status and perceived oral impacts were observed in relation to six socioeconomic indicators in the bivariate analyses. Adolescents from lower social positions had significantly reported more oral impacts and had rated their oral health as poor. But it was mainly the indicators of family material affluence that emerged as significant predictors of perceived oral health outcomes in the logistic regression analyses. Conclusion: The study demonstrates the existence of significant social gradients in perceived oral health outcomes among adolescents from a developing country. Further studies to assess causes of social gradients in perceived oral health outcomes are recommended. Key words: Adolescents, oral impacts, perceived oral health status, social inequality

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