September 2014

Volume 31, Issue 3

Access, literacy and behavioural correlates of poor self-rated oral health amongst an Indigenous South Australian population

Authors: K. Jones E.J. Parker L.M. Jamieson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3316Jones05

Abstract

Objective: To better understand the determinants of self-rated oral health within an Indigenous population by: 1, examining potential individual-level correlates of socio-demographic, health behaviours, dental care access and oral health literacy-related outcomes with self-rated oral health; and, 2, examining the relative contribution of these domains to self-rated oral health in multivariable modelling. Methods: We conducted nested logistic regression analyses on self-reported status of ‘fair or poor’ versus ‘better’ oral health using data from a convenience sample of rural dwelling Indigenous Australians (n=468). Data were collected on background characteristics, health behaviours, access to dental care, oral health literacy-related outcome variables and REALD 30, an oral health literacy scale. Results: Overall 37.0 % of the Indigenous adult population reported fair or poor oral health. In multivariable modelling, risk indicators for fair or poor self-rated oral health that persisted after adjusting for other covariates included being aged 38+ years (OR 2.9, 95%CI 1.9,4.6), holding a Government Health Concession card (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.1,4.5), avoiding the dentist due to financial constraints (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.4,3.6), not knowing how to make an emergency dental visit (OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.1,2.7) and poor understanding of the prevention of dental disease (OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.1,2.7). Conclusions: In this vulnerable population, risk indicators contributing to poor self-rated oral health included socio-demographic, dental care access and oral health literacy-related factors. Health behaviours were not significant. Key words: indigenous, self-rated oral health, risk indicator, rural, Australian, REALD

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