Aim: To determine if the social cognitive theory (SCT)-constructs of oral health-related efficacy, knowledge and fatalism were indicators of non-toothbrush ownership in a metropolitan-based homeless population in Australia. Methods: Self-report data were collected from a convenience sample of 248 homeless participants located in Adelaide, Australia. Log binomial regression was used to estimate the strength of the association of the SCT constructs efficacy, knowledge and fatalism with the frequency of non-ownership of a toothbrush before and after adjusting for selected characteristics and associated factors. Results: Of the study population (aged 17–78 years, 79% male) just over one-fifth (21%) did not own a toothbrush. In an unadjusted model, low self-efficacy (PR=1.18) and low knowledge (1.27) were indicators for non-toothbrush ownership. These relationships were attenuated by 5.2% and 3.2% respectively after adjusting for social determinants, health factors, substance use and dental service utilisation-related factors, but remained statistically significant in the final model. Conclusions: Poor oral health-related self-efficacy and knowledge were both indicators for non-ownership of a toothbrush among a homeless population. This relationship held even after adjustment for relevant social and behavioural factors. Fatalism was not an indicator for non-toothbrush ownership in this population. Key words: self-efficacy, toothbrushing, homeless, knowledge, fatalism, oral health, Australia
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