PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (997875)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Oral healthcare of preschool children in Trinidad: a qualitative study of parents and caregivers 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:27.
Background
Little is known about oral health in early childhood in the West Indies or the views and experiences of caregivers about preventive oral care and dental attendance The aims of this study were to explore and understand parents and caregivers’ experience of oral healthcare for their preschool aged children and how, within their own social context, this may have shaped their oral health attitudes and behaviours. These data can be used to inform oral health promotion strategies for this age group.
Method
After ethical approval, a qualitative study was undertaken using a focus group approach with a purposive sample of parents and caregivers of preschool children in central Trinidad.
Group discussions were initiated by use of a topic guide. Audio recording and field notes from the three focus groups, with a total of 18 participants, were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Despite some ambivalence toward the importance of the primary teeth, the role of fluoride and confusion about when to take a child for their first dental visit, most participants understood the need to ensure good oral hygiene and dietary habits for their child. Problems expressed included, overcoming their own negative experiences of dentistry, which along with finding affordable and suitable dental clinics, affected their attitude to taking their child for a dental visit. There was difficulty in establishing good brushing routines and controlling sweet snacking in the face of many other responsibilities at home. Lack of availability of paediatric dental services locally and information on oral health care were also highlighted. Many expressed a need for more contact with dental professionals in non-clinic settings, for oral health care advice and guidance.
Conclusion
Parents and caregivers in this qualitative study showed generally positive attitudes towards oral health but appear to have encountered several barriers and challenges to achieving ideal preventive care for their child, with respect to healthy diet, good oral hygiene and dental attendance. Oral health promotion should include effective dissemination of oral health information, more practical health advice and greater access to dental care for families with preschool children.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-27
PMCID: PMC3567990  PMID: 22862892
Preschool children; Oral health; Parents; Caregivers; Qualitative; Focus groups; West Indies
2.  Preventing and detecting oral cancer: Oral health care providers’ readiness to provide health behavior counseling and oral cancer examinations 
Background
The authors conducted a study to examine oral cancer prevention and early detection practice patterns in a population-based random sample of practicing oral health care professionals in New York state.
Methods
The authors surveyed a population-based, self-weighting, stratified random sample of dentists (n = 1,025) and dental hygienists (n = 1,025) in New York state. They assessed the subjects’ readiness to offer tobacco-use cessation and alcohol-abuse counseling and oral cancer examinations.
Results
The effective response rates were 55 and 66 percent for dentists and dental hygienists, respectively. In terms of readiness to perform oral cancer examinations for patients aged 40 years and older, the large majority (82 percent of dentists and 72 percent of dental hygienists) were in the maintenance stage of behavior, indicating that oral cancer examinations were a routine part of their practice. In terms of readiness to offer tobacco-use cessation counseling, only 12 percent of dentists and 21 percent of dental hygienists were in the maintenance stage, and only 2 percent of dentists and 4 percent of dental hygienists were in the maintenance stage of offering alcohol-abuse counseling.
Conclusions
Oral cancer examinations seem to have been adopted as a standard of practice by most oral health care providers in New York state, but cancer prevention services, such as counseling regarding cessation of tobacco use and alcohol abuse, are lacking.
Clinical Implications
Oral health care providers should be trained in oral cancer prevention services such as tobacco-use cessation and alcohol-abuse counseling and encouraged to include these services, along with continued provision of oral cancer examinations, as a standard aspect of care.
PMCID: PMC1430342  PMID: 15966646
Oral cancer; tobacco use; alcohol abuse; cancer prevention; counseling; smoking; oral health
3.  Social Determinants of Tooth Loss 
Health Services Research  2003;38(6 Pt 2):1843-1862.
Objectives
To quantify racial and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in oral health, as measured by tooth loss, and to determine the role of dental care use and other factors in explaining disparities.
Data Sources/Study Setting
The Florida Dental Care Study, comprising African Americans (AAs) and non-Hispanic whites 45 years old or older who had at least one tooth.
Study Design
We used a prospective cohort design. Relevant population characteristics were grouped by predisposing, enabling, and need variables. The key outcome was tooth loss, a leading measure of a population's oral health, looked at before and after entering the dental care system. Tooth-specific data were used to increase inferential power by relating the loss of individual teeth to the disease level on those teeth.
Data Collection Methods
In-person interviews and clinical examinations were done at baseline, 24, and 48 months, with telephone interviews every 6 months.
Principal Findings
African Americans and persons of lower SES reported more new dental symptoms, but were less likely to obtain dental care. When they did receive care, they were more likely to experience tooth loss and less likely to report that dentists had discussed alternative treatments with them. At the first stage of analysis, differences in disease severity and new symptoms explained tooth loss disparities. Racial and SES differences in attitudes toward tooth loss and dental care were not contributory. Because almost all tooth loss occurs by means of dental extraction, the total effects of race and SES on tooth loss were artificially minimized unless disparities in dental care use were taken into account.
Conclusions
Race and SES are strong determinants of tooth loss. African Americans and lower SES persons had fewer teeth at baseline and still lost more teeth after baseline. Tooth-specific case-mix adjustment appears, statistically, to explain social disparity variation in tooth loss. However, when social disparities in dental care use are taken into account, social disparities in tooth loss that are not directly due to clinical circumstance become evident. This is because AAs and lower SES persons are more likely to receive a dental extraction once they enter the dental care system, given the same disease extent and severity. This phenomenon underscores the importance of understanding how disparities in health care use, dental insurance coverage, and service receipt contribute to disparities in health. Absent such understanding, the total effects of race and SES on health can be underestimated.
doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2003.00205.x
PMCID: PMC1360976  PMID: 14727800
Tooth loss; health disparities; race; socioeconomic status
4.  The Effectiveness of Community Action in Reducing Risky Alcohol Consumption and Harm: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(3):e1001617.
In a cluster randomized controlled trial, Anthony Shakeshaft and colleagues measure the effectiveness of a multi-component community-based intervention for reducing alcohol-related harm.
Background
The World Health Organization, governments, and communities agree that community action is likely to reduce risky alcohol consumption and harm. Despite this agreement, there is little rigorous evidence that community action is effective: of the six randomised trials of community action published to date, all were US-based and focused on young people (rather than the whole community), and their outcomes were limited to self-report or alcohol purchase attempts. The objective of this study was to conduct the first non-US randomised controlled trial (RCT) of community action to quantify the effectiveness of this approach in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms measured using both self-report and routinely collected data.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cluster RCT comprising 20 communities in Australia that had populations of 5,000–20,000, were at least 100 km from an urban centre (population ≥ 100,000), and were not involved in another community alcohol project. Communities were pair-matched, and one member of each pair was randomly allocated to the experimental group. Thirteen interventions were implemented in the experimental communities from 2005 to 2009: community engagement; general practitioner training in alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI); feedback to key stakeholders; media campaign; workplace policies/practices training; school-based intervention; general practitioner feedback on their prescribing of alcohol medications; community pharmacy-based SBI; web-based SBI; Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services support for SBI; Good Sports program for sports clubs; identifying and targeting high-risk weekends; and hospital emergency department–based SBI. Primary outcomes based on routinely collected data were alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions. Routinely collected data for the entire study period (2001–2009) were obtained in 2010. Secondary outcomes based on pre- and post-intervention surveys (n = 2,977 and 2,255, respectively) were the following: long-term risky drinking, short-term high-risk drinking, short-term risky drinking, weekly consumption, hazardous/harmful alcohol use, and experience of alcohol harm. At the 5% level of statistical significance, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the interventions were effective in the experimental, relative to control, communities for alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions, and for rates of risky alcohol consumption and hazardous/harmful alcohol use. Although respondents in the experimental communities reported statistically significantly lower average weekly consumption (1.90 fewer standard drinks per week, 95% CI = −3.37 to −0.43, p = 0.01) and less alcohol-related verbal abuse (odds ratio = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.96, p = 0.04) post-intervention, the low survey response rates (40% and 24% for the pre- and post-intervention surveys, respectively) require conservative interpretation. The main limitations of this study are as follows: (1) that the study may have been under-powered to detect differences in routinely collected data outcomes as statistically significant, and (2) the low survey response rates.
Conclusions
This RCT provides little evidence that community action significantly reduces risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms, other than potential reductions in self-reported average weekly consumption and experience of alcohol-related verbal abuse. Complementary legislative action may be required to more effectively reduce alcohol harms.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000123448
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
People have consumed alcoholic beverages throughout history, but alcohol use is now an increasing global public health problem. According to the World Health Organization's 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor (after high blood pressure and smoking) for disease and is responsible for 3.9% of the global disease burden. Alcohol use contributes to heart disease, liver disease, depression, some cancers, and many other health conditions. Alcohol also affects the well-being and health of people around those who drink, through alcohol-related crimes and road traffic crashes. The impact of alcohol use on disease and injury depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the pattern of drinking. Most guidelines define long-term risky drinking as more than four drinks per day on average for men or more than two drinks per day for women (a “drink” is, roughly speaking, a can of beer or a small glass of wine), and short-term risky drinking (also called binge drinking) as seven or more drinks on a single occasion for men or five or more drinks on a single occasion for women. However, recent changes to the Australian guidelines acknowledge that a lower level of alcohol consumption is considered risky (with lifetime risky drinking defined as more than two drinks a day and binge drinking defined as more than four drinks on one occasion).
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2010, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. This strategy emphasizes the importance of community action–a process in which a community defines its own needs and determines the actions that are required to meet these needs. Although community action is highly acceptable to community members, few studies have looked at the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. Here, the researchers undertake a cluster randomized controlled trial (the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities [AARC] project) to quantify the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms in rural communities in Australia. A cluster randomized trial compares outcomes in clusters of people (here, communities) who receive alternative interventions assigned through the play of chance.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers pair-matched 20 rural Australian communities according to the proportion of their population that was Aboriginal (rates of alcohol-related harm are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal individuals than among non-Aboriginal individuals in Australia; they are also higher among young people and males, but the proportions of these two groups across communities was comparable). They randomly assigned one member of each pair to the experimental group and implemented 13 interventions in these communities by negotiating with key individuals in each community to define and implement each intervention. Examples of interventions included general practitioner training in screening for alcohol use disorders and in implementing a brief intervention, and a school-based interactive session designed to reduce alcohol harm among young people. The researchers quantified the effectiveness of the interventions using routinely collected data on alcohol-related crime and road traffic crashes, and on hospital inpatient admissions for alcohol dependence or abuse (which were expected to increase in the experimental group if the intervention was effective because of more people seeking or being referred for treatment). They also examined drinking habits and experiences of alcohol-related harm, such as verbal abuse, among community members using pre- and post-intervention surveys. After implementation of the interventions, the rates of alcohol-related crime, road traffic crashes, and hospital admissions, and of risky and hazardous/harmful alcohol consumption (measured using a validated tool called the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) were not statistically significantly different in the experimental and control communities (a difference in outcomes that is not statistically significantly different can occur by chance). However, the reported average weekly consumption of alcohol was 20% lower in the experimental communities after the intervention than in the control communities (equivalent to 1.9 fewer standard drinks per week per respondent) and there was less alcohol-related verbal abuse post-intervention in the experimental communities than in the control communities.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide little evidence that community action reduced risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms in rural Australian communities. Although there was some evidence of significant reductions in self-reported weekly alcohol consumption and in experiences of alcohol-related verbal abuse, these findings must be interpreted cautiously because they are based on surveys with very low response rates. A larger or differently designed study might provide statistically significant evidence for the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption. However, given their findings, the researchers suggest that legislative approaches that are beyond the control of individual communities, such as alcohol taxation and restrictions on alcohol availability, may be required to effectively reduce alcohol harms. In other words, community action alone may not be the most effective way to reduce alcohol-related harm.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001617.
The World Health Organization provides detailed information about alcohol; its fact sheet on alcohol includes information about the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol; the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health provides further information about alcohol, including information on control policies around the world
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has information about alcohol and its effects on health
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website on alcohol and public health that includes information on the health risks of excessive drinking
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about drinking and alcohol, including information on the risks of drinking too much, tools for calculating alcohol consumption, and personal stories about alcohol use problems
MedlinePlus provides links to many other resources on alcohol
More information about the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities project is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001617
PMCID: PMC3949675  PMID: 24618831
5.  Assessment of oral self-care in patients with periodontitis: a pilot study in a dental school clinic in Japan 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:27.
Background
Oral hygiene education is central to every stage of periodontal treatment. Successful management of periodontal disease depends on the patient's capacity for oral self-care. In the present study, the oral self-care and perceptions of patients attending a dental school clinic in Japan were assessed using a short questionnaire referring to existing oral health models.
Methods
A cross-sectional study design was used. The study population consisted of sixty-five patients (age range 23-77) with chronic periodontitis. The pre-tested 19-item questionnaire comprised 3 domains; 1) oral hygiene, 2) dietary habits and 3) perception of oral condition. The questionnaire was used as a part of the comprehensive assessment.
Results
Analyses of the assessment data revealed no major problems with the respondents' perceived oral hygiene habits, although their actual plaque control levels were not entirely adequate. Most of the respondents acknowledged the importance of prevention of dental caries and periodontal diseases, but less than one third of them were regular users of the dental care system. Twenty-five percent of the respondents were considered to be reluctant to change their daily routines, and 29% had doubts about the impact of their own actions on oral health. Analyzing the relationships between patient responses and oral hygiene status, factors like 'frequency of tooth brushing', 'approximal cleaning', 'dental check-up' and 'compliance with self-care advice' showed statistically significant associations (P < 0.05) with the plaque scores.
Conclusion
The clinical utilization of the present questionnaire facilitates the inclusion of multiple aspects of patient information, before initiation of periodontal treatment. The significant associations that were found between some of the self-care behaviors and oral hygiene levels document the important role of patient-centered oral health assessment in periodontal care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-9-27
PMCID: PMC2774664  PMID: 19874626
6.  The relation between family socioeconomic trajectories from childhood to adolescence and dental caries and associated oral behaviours 
Objectives
To investigate the influence of family socioeconomic trajectories from childhood to adolescence on dental caries and associated behaviours.
Design
Population‐based birth cohort.
Setting
Representative sample of the population of subjects born in 1982 in Pelotas, Brazil.
Participants
Adolescents (n = 888) aged 15 years old were dentally examined and interviewed.
Main outcome measures
Dental caries index (DMFT), care index (F/DMFT), tooth brushing, flossing and pattern of dental services use.
Main results
Adolescents who were always poor showed, in general, a worse pattern of dental caries, whereas adolescents who never were poor had a better pattern of dental caries. Adolescents who had moved from poverty in childhood to non‐poverty in adolescence and those who had moved from non‐poverty in childhood to poverty in adolescence had similar dental pattern to those who were always poor except for the pattern of dental services use, which was higher in the first group. In all groups girls had fewer carious teeth, better oral hygiene habits and higher dental services use than boys.
Conclusion
Poverty in at least one stage of the lifespan has a harmful effect on dental caries, oral behaviours and dental services use. Belonging to upwardly mobile families between childhood and adolescence only contributed to improved dental care.
doi:10.1136/jech.2005.044818
PMCID: PMC2465630  PMID: 17234873
7.  Evaluating components of dental care utilization among adults with diabetes and matched controls via hurdle models 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:20.
Background
About one-third of adults with diabetes have severe oral complications. However, limited previous research has investigated dental care utilization associated with diabetes. This project had two purposes: to develop a methodology to estimate dental care utilization using claims data and to use this methodology to compare utilization of dental care between adults with and without diabetes.
Methods
Data included secondary enrollment and demographic data from Washington Dental Service (WDS) and Group Health Cooperative (GH), clinical data from GH, and dental-utilization data from WDS claims during 2002–2006. Dental and medical records from WDS and GH were linked for enrolees continuously and dually insured during the study. We employed hurdle models in a quasi-experimental setting to assess differences between adults with and without diabetes in 5-year cumulative utilization of dental services. Propensity score matching adjusted for differences in baseline covariates between the two groups.
Results
We found that adults with diabetes had lower odds of visiting a dentist (OR = 0.74, p < 0.001). Among those with a dental visit, diabetes patients had lower odds of receiving prophylaxes (OR = 0.77), fillings (OR = 0.80) and crowns (OR = 0.84) (p < 0.005 for all) and higher odds of receiving periodontal maintenance (OR = 1.24), non-surgical periodontal procedures (OR = 1.30), extractions (OR = 1.38) and removable prosthetics (OR = 1.36) (p < 0.001 for all).
Conclusions
Patients with diabetes are less likely to use dental services. Those who do are less likely to use preventive care and more likely to receive periodontal care and tooth-extractions. Future research should address the possible effectiveness of additional prevention in reducing subsequent severe oral disease in patients with diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-20
PMCID: PMC3528407  PMID: 22776352
8.  Toward improving the oral health of Americans: an overview of oral health status, resources, and care delivery. Oral Health Coordinating Committee, Public Health Service. 
Public Health Reports  1993;108(6):657-672.
Dental and oral diseases may well be the most prevalent and preventable conditions affecting Americans. More than 50 percent of U.S. children, 96 percent of employed U.S. adults, and 99.5 percent of Americans 65 years and older have experienced dental caries (also called cavities). Millions of Americans suffer from periodontal diseases and other oral conditions, and more than 17 million Americans, including 10 million Americans 65 years or older, have lost all of their teeth. Preventive dental services are known to be effective in preventing and controlling dental diseases. Unfortunately, groups at highest risk for disease--the poor and minorities--have lower rates of using dental care than the U.S. average. Cost is the principal barrier to dental care for many Americans. Of the $38.7 billion spent for dental services in 1992, public programs, including Medicaid, paid for less than 4 percent of dental expenditures. More than 90 percent of care was paid for either out-of-pocket by dental consumers or through private dental insurance. Americans are at risk for other oral health problems as well. Oropharyngeal cancer strikes approximately 30,000 Americans each year and results in an estimated 8,000 deaths annually. Underlying medical or handicapping conditions, ranging from rare genetic diseases to more common chronic diseases, affect millions of Americans and can lead to oral health problems. Among persons with compromised immune systems, oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on health. Oral diseases and conditions, though nearly universal, can be prevented easily and controlled at reasonable cost.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1403448  PMID: 8265750
9.  Experiences of dental care: what do patients value? 
Background
Dentistry in Australia combines business and health care service, that is, the majority of patients pay money for tangible dental procedures such as fluoride applications, dental radiographs, dental fillings, crowns, and dentures among others. There is evidence that patients question dentists’ behaviours and attitudes during a dental visit when those highly technical procedures are performed. However, little is known about how patients’ experience dental care as a whole. This paper illustrates the findings from a qualitative study recently undertaken in general dental practice in Australia. It focuses on patients’ experiences of dental care, particularly on the relationship between patients and dentists during the provision of preventive care and advice in general dental practices.
Methods
Seventeen patients were interviewed. Data analysis consisted of transcript coding, detailed memo writing, and data interpretation.
Results
Patients described their experiences when visiting dental practices with and without a structured preventive approach in place, together with the historical, biological, financial, psychosocial and habitual dimensions of their experience. Potential barriers that could hinder preventive activities as well as facilitators for prevention were also described. The offer of preventive dental care and advice was an amazing revelation for this group of patients as they realized that dentists could practice dentistry without having to “drill and fill” their teeth. All patients, regardless of the practice they came from or their level of clinical risk of developing dental caries, valued having a caring dentist who respected them and listened to their concerns without “blaming” them for their oral health status. These patients complied with and supported the preventive care options because they were being “treated as a person not as a patient” by their dentists. Patients valued dentists who made them aware of existing preventive options, educated them about how to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth, and supported and reassured them frequently during visits.
Conclusions
Patients valued having a supportive and caring dentist and a dedicated dental team. The experience of having a dedicated, supportive and caring dentist helped patients to take control of their own oral health. These dentists and dental teams produced profound changes in not just the oral health care routines of patients, but in the way patients thought about their own oral health and the role of dental professionals.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-177
PMCID: PMC3407476  PMID: 22726888
Qualitative research; Dentist-patient relationship; Prevention
10.  The relationship between methamphetamine use and increased dental disease 
Background
Methamphetamine (MA) use has been linked anecdotally to rampant dental disease. The authors sought to determine the relative prevalence of dental comorbidities in MA users, verify whether MA users have more quantifiable dental disease and report having more dental problems than nonusers and establish the influence of mode of MA administration on oral health outcomes.
Methods
Participating physicians provided comprehensive medical and oral assessments for adults dependent on MA (n = 301). Trained interviewers collected patients' self-reports regarding oral health and substance-use behaviors. The authors used propensity score matching to create a matched comparison group of nonusers from participants in the the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).
Results
Dental or oral disease was one of the most prevalent (41.3 percent) medical cormorbidities in MA users who otherwise were generally healthy. On average, MA users had significantly more missing teeth than did matched NHANES III control participants (4.58 versus 1.96, P < .001) and were more likely to report having oral health problems (P < .001). Significant subsets of MA users expressed concerns with their dental appearance (28.6 percent), problems with broken or loose teeth (23.3 percent) and tooth grinding (bruxism) or erosion (22.3 percent). The intravenous use of MA was significantly more likely to be associated with missing teeth than was smoking MA (odds ratio = 2.47; 95 percent confidence interval = 1.3-4.8).
Conclusions
Overt dental disease is one of the key distinguishing comorbidities in MA users. MA users have demonstrably higher rates of dental disease and report long-term unmet oral health needs. Contrary to common perception, users who smoke or inhale MA have lower rates of dental disease than do those who inject the drug. Many MA users are concerned with the cosmetic aspects of their dental disease, and these concerns could be used as behavioral triggers for targeted interventions.
Clinical Implications
Dental disease may provide a temporally stable MA-specific medical marker with discriminant utility in identifying MA users. Dentists can play a crucial role in the early detection of MA use and participate in the collaborative care of MA users.
PMCID: PMC2947197  PMID: 20194387
Methamphetamine use; dental disease; oral health; general health; temporomandibular joint disorders
11.  Protocol for diagnostic test accuracy study: the efficacy of screening for common dental diseases by Dental Care Professionals 
BMC Oral Health  2013;13:45.
Background
The bulk of service delivery in dentistry is delivered by general dental practitioners, when a large proportion of patients who attend regularly are asymptomatic and do not require treatment. This represents a substantial and unnecessary cost, given that it is possible to delegate a range of tasks to dental care professionals, who are a less expensive resource. Screening for the common dental diseases by dental care professionals has the potential to release general dental practitioner’s time and increase the capacity to care for those who don't currently access services. The aim of this study is to compare the diagnostic test accuracy of dental care professionals when screening for dental caries and periodontal disease in asymptomatic adults aged eighteen years of age.
Methods/design
Ten dental practices across the North-West of England will take part in a diagnostic test accuracy study with 200 consecutive patients in each practice. The dental care professionals will act as the index test and the general dental practitioner will act as the reference test. Consenting asymptomatic patients will enter the study and see either the dental care professionals or general dental practitioner first to remove order effects. Both sets of clinicians will make an assessment of dental caries and periodontal disease and enter their decisions on a record sheet for each participant. The primary outcome measure is the diagnostic test accuracy of the dental care professionals and sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive values will be reported. A number of clinical factors will be assessed for confounding.
Discussion
The results of this study will determine whether dental care professionals can screen for the two most prevalent oral diseases. This will inform the literature and is apposite given the recent policy change in the United Kingdom towards direct access.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-13-45
PMCID: PMC3849956  PMID: 24053760
Screening; Diagnostic test accuracy; Dental care professional; Sensitivity and specificity
12.  The Effect of Intensive Oral Hygiene Care on Gingivitis and Periodontal Destruction in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2009;50(4):529-536.
Purpose
This study aimed to investigate the effects of oral hygiene care by oral professionals on periodontal health in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.
Materials and Methods
Diabetic participants were recruited at a university hospital and matched at a 1:1 ratio by age and gender, and randomly allocated into intervention (40 people) and control groups (35 people). Tooth brushing instruction, oral health education, and supra-gingival scaling were implemented in all patients at baseline. This program was repeatedly conducted in intervention patients every month for 6 months, and twice at baseline and the sixth month in the control. Oral health was measured by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT), plaque index, calculus index, bleeding index, patient hygiene performance (PHP) index, tooth mobility, Russel's periodontal index, and community periodontal index (CPI). Diabetes-related factors, oral and general health behaviors, and sociodemographic factors were interviewed as other confounding factors. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used with SPSS for Windows 14.0.
Results
At baseline, there were no significant differences between the two groups in average of periodontal health (calculus index, bleeding index, Russel's periodontal index, CPI, and tooth mobility), diabetes-related factors (fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, and HbA1c), and in distribution of sociodemographic factors and health behaviors. In intervention group, plaque index, dental calculus index, bleeding index, and PHP index were reduced fairly and steadily from the baseline. There were significant differences in plaque index, dental calculus index, bleeding index, PHP index, and Russel's periodontal index between the two groups at sixth month after adjusted for baseline status.
Conclusion
Intensive oral hygiene care can persistently improve oral inflammation status and could slow periodontal deterioration.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2009.50.4.529
PMCID: PMC2730616  PMID: 19718402
Dental prophylaxis; oral hygiene; periodontal diseases; type 2 diabetes mellitus
13.  Racial Differences in Predictors of Dental Care Use 
Health Services Research  2002;37(6):1487-1507.
Objective
To test five hypotheses that non-Hispanic African Americans (AAs) and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) differ in responsiveness to new dental symptoms by seeking dental care, and differ in certain predictors of dental care utilization.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Florida Dental Care Study, comprising AAs and NHWs 45 years old or older, who had at least one tooth, and who lived in north Florida.
Study Design
We used a prospective cohort design. The key outcome of interest was whether dental care was received in a given six-month period, after adjusting for the presence of certain time-varying and fixed characteristics.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
In-person interviews were conducted at baseline and 24 months after baseline, with six-monthly telephone interviews in between.
Principal Findings
African Americans were less likely to seek dental care during follow-up, with or without adjusting for key predisposing, enabling, and oral health need characteristics. African Americans were more likely to be problem-oriented dental attenders, to be unable to pay an unexpected $500 dental bill, and to report postbaseline dental problems. However, the effect of certain postbaseline dental signs and symptoms on postbaseline dental care use differed between AAs and NHWs. Although financial circumstance was predictive for both groups, it was more salient for NHWs in separate NHW and AA regressions. Frustration with past dental care, propensity to use a homemade remedy, and dental insurance were significant predictors among AAs, but not among NHWs. The NHWs were much more likely to have sought care for preventive reasons.
Conclusions
Racial differences in responsiveness to new dental symptoms by seeking dental care were evident, as were differences in other predictors of dental care utilization. These differences may contribute to racial disparities in oral health.
doi:10.1111/1475-6773.01217
PMCID: PMC1464042  PMID: 12546283
Dental care; health disparities; race; socioeconomic status; longitudinal
14.  An ethnographic study of Latino preschool children's oral health in rural California: Intersections among family, community, provider and regulatory sectors 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:8.
Background
Latino children experience a higher prevalence of caries than do children in any other racial/ethnic group in the US. This paper examines the intersections among four societal sectors or contexts of care which contribute to oral health disparities for low-income, preschool Latino1 children in rural California.
Methods
Findings are reported from an ethnographic investigation, conducted in 2005–2006, of family, community, professional/dental and policy/regulatory sectors or contexts of care that play central roles in creating or sustaining low income, rural children's poor oral health status. The study community of around 9,000 people, predominantly of Mexican-American origin, was located in California's agricultural Central Valley. Observations in homes, community facilities, and dental offices within the region were supplemented by in-depth interviews with 30 key informants (such as dental professionals, health educators, child welfare agents, clinic administrators and regulatory agents) and 47 primary caregivers (mothers) of children at least one of whom was under 6 years of age.
Results
Caregivers did not always recognize visible signs of caries among their children, nor respond quickly unless children also complained of pain. Fluctuating seasonal eligibility for public health insurance intersected with limited community infrastructure and civic amenities, including lack of public transportation, to create difficulties in access to care. The non-fluoridated municipal water supply is not widely consumed because of fears about pesticide pollution. If the dentist brought children into the clinic for multiple visits, this caused the accompanying parent hardship and occasionally resulted in the loss of his or her job. Few general dentists had received specific training in how to handle young patients. Children's dental fear and poor provider-parent communication were exacerbated by a scarcity of dentists willing to serve rural low-income populations. Stringent state fiscal reimbursement policies further complicated the situation.
Conclusion
Several societal sectors or contexts of care significantly intersected to produce or sustain poor oral health care for children. Parental beliefs and practices, leading for example to delay in seeking care, were compounded by lack of key community or economic resources, and the organization and delivery of professional dental services. In the context of state-mandated policies and procedures, these all worked to militate against children receiving timely care that would considerably reduce oral health disparities among this highly disadvantaged population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-8
PMCID: PMC2362117  PMID: 18377660
15.  A prospective study of the validity of self-reported use of specific types of dental services. 
Public Health Reports  2003;118(1):18-26.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to quantify the validity of self-reported receipt of dental services in 10 categories, using information from dental charts as the "gold standard." METHODS: The Florida Dental Care Study was a prospective cohort study of a diverse sample of adults. In-person interviews were conducted at baseline and at 24 and 48 months following baseline, with telephone interviews at six-month intervals in between. Participants reported new dental visits, reason(s) for the visit(s), and specific service(s) received. For the present study, self-reported data were compared with data from patients' dental charts. RESULTS: Percent concordance between self-report and dental charts ranged from 82% to 100%, while Kappa values ranged from 0.33 to 0.91. Bivariate multiple logistic regressions were performed for each of the service categories, with two outcomes: self-reported service receipt and service receipt determined from the dental chart. Parameter estimate intervals overlapped for each of the four hypothesized predictors of service receipt (age group, sex, "race" defined as non-Hispanic African American vs. non-Hispanic white, and annual household income < 20,000 US dollars vs. > or = 20,000 US dollars), although for five of the 10 service categories, there were differences in conclusions about statistical significance for certain predictors. CONCLUSIONS: The validity of self-reported use of dental services ranged from poor to excellent, depending upon the service type. Regression estimates using either the self-reported or chart-validated measure yielded similar results overall, but conclusions about key predictors of service use differed in some instances. Self-reported dental service use is valid for some, but not all, service types.
PMCID: PMC1497501  PMID: 12604761
16.  Minimising barriers to dental care in older people 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:7.
Background
Older people are increasingly retaining their natural teeth but at higher risk of oral disease with resultant impact on their quality of life. Socially deprived people are more at risk of oral disease and yet less likely to take up care. Health organisations in England and Wales are exploring new ways to commission and provide dental care services in general and for vulnerable groups in particular. This study was undertaken to investigate barriers to dental care perceived by older people in socially deprived inner city area where uptake of care was low and identify methods for minimising barriers in older people in support of oral health.
Methods
A qualitative dual-methodological approach, utilising both focus groups and individual interviews, was used in this research. Participants, older people and carers of older people, were recruited using purposive sampling through day centres and community groups in the inner city boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham in South London. A topic guide was utilised to guide qualitative data collection. Informants' views were recorded on tape and in field notes. The data were transcribed and analysed using Framework Methodology.
Results
Thirty-nine older people and/or their carers participated in focus groups. Active barriers to dental care in older people fell into five main categories: cost, fear, availability, accessibility and characteristics of the dentist. Lack of perception of a need for dental care was a common 'passive barrier' amongst denture wearers in particular. The cost of dental treatment, fear of care and perceived availability of dental services emerged to influence significantly dental attendance. Minimising barriers involves three levels of action to be taken: individual actions (such as persistence in finding available care following identification of need), system changes (including reducing costs, improving information, ensuring appropriate timing and location of care, and good patient management) and societal issues (such as reducing isolation and loneliness). Older people appeared to place greater significance on system and societal change than personal action.
Conclusion
Older people living within the community in an inner city area where NHS dental care is available face barriers to dental care. Improving access to care involves actions at individual, societal and system level. The latter includes appropriate management of older people by clinicians, policy change to address NHS charges; consideration of when, where and how dental care is provided; and clear information for older people and their carers on available local dental services, dental charges and care pathways.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-7
PMCID: PMC2335092  PMID: 18366785
17.  Alcohol Sales and Risk of Serious Assault 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(5):e104.
Background
Alcohol is a contributing cause of unintentional injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes. Prior research on the association between alcohol use and violent injury was limited to survey-based data, and the inclusion of cases from a single trauma centre, without adequate controls. Beyond these limitations was the inability of prior researchers to comprehensively capture most alcohol sales. In Ontario, most alcohol is sold through retail outlets run by the provincial government, and hospitals are financed under a provincial health care system. We assessed the risk of being hospitalized due to assault in association with retail alcohol sales across Ontario.
Methods and Findings
We performed a population-based case-crossover analysis of all persons aged 13 years and older hospitalized for assault in Ontario from 1 April 2002 to 1 December 2004. On the day prior to each assault case's hospitalization, the volume of alcohol sold at the store in closest proximity to the victim's home was compared to the volume of alcohol sold at the same store 7 d earlier. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to determine the associated relative risk (RR) of assault per 1,000 l higher daily sales of alcohol. Of the 3,212 persons admitted to hospital for assault, nearly 25% were between the ages of 13 and 20 y, and 83% were male. A total of 1,150 assaults (36%) involved the use of a sharp or blunt weapon, and 1,532 (48%) arose during an unarmed brawl or fight. For every 1,000 l more of alcohol sold per store per day, the relative risk of being hospitalized for assault was 1.13 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.26). The risk was accentuated for males (1.18, 95% CI 1.05–1.33), youth aged 13 to 20 y (1.21, 95% CI 0.99–1.46), and those in urban areas (1.19, 95% CI 1.06–1.35).
Conclusions
The risk of being a victim of serious assault increases with alcohol sales, especially among young urban men. Akin to reducing the risk of driving while impaired, consideration should be given to novel methods of preventing alcohol-related violence.
In a population-based case-crossover analysis, Joel Ray and colleagues find that the risk of being a victim of serious assault increases with retail alcohol sales, especially among young urban men.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Alcohol has been produced and consumed around the world since prehistoric times. In the Western world it is now the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug (a substance that changes mood, behavior, and thought processes). The World Health Organization reports that there are 76.3 million persons with alcohol use disorders worldwide. Alcohol consumption is an important factor in unintentional injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, and in violent criminal behavior. In the United Kingdom, for example, a higher proportion of heavy drinkers than light drinkers cause violent criminal offenses. Other figures suggest that people (in particular, young men) have an increased risk of committing a criminally violent offense within 24 h of drinking alcohol. There is also some evidence that suggests that the victims as well as the perpetrators of assaults have often been drinking recently, possibly because alcohol impairs the victim's ability to judge potentially explosive situations.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers wanted to know more about the relationship between alcohol and intentional violence. The recognition of a clear link between driving when impaired by alcohol and motor vehicle crashes has led many countries to introduce public awareness programs that stigmatize drunk driving. If a clear link between alcohol consumption by the people involved in violent crime could also be established, similar programs might reduce alcohol-related assaults. The researchers tested the hypothesis that the risk of being hospitalized due to a violent assault increases when there are increased alcohol sales in the immediate vicinity of the victim's place of residence.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did their study in Ontario, Canada for three reasons. First, Ontario is Canada's largest province. Second, the province keeps detailed computerized medical records, including records of people hospitalized from being violently assaulted. Third, most alcohol is sold in government-run shops, and the district has the infrastructure to allow daily alcohol sales to be tracked. The researchers identified more than 3,000 people over the age of 13 y who were hospitalized in the province because of a serious assault during a 32-mo period. They compared the volume of alcohol sold at the liquor store nearest to the victim's home the day before the assault with the volume sold at the same store a week earlier (this type of study is called a “case-crossover” study). For every extra 1,000 l of alcohol sold per store per day (a doubling of alcohol sales), the overall risk of being hospitalized for assault increased by 13%. The risk was highest in three subgroups of people: men (18% increased risk), youths aged 13 to 20 y (21% increased risk), and those living in urban areas (19% increased risk). At peak times of alcohol sales, the risk of assault was 41% higher than at times when alcohol sales were lowest.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the risk of being seriously assaulted increases with the amount of alcohol sold locally the day before the assault and show that the individuals most at risk are young men living in urban areas. Because the study considers only serious assaults and alcohol sold in shops (i.e., not including alcohol sold in bars), it probably underestimates the association between alcohol and assault. It also does not indicate whether the victim or perpetrator of the assault (or both) had been drinking, and its findings may not apply to countries with different drinking habits. Nevertheless, these findings support the idea that the consumption of alcohol contributes to the occurrence of medical injuries from intentional violence. Increasing the price of alcohol or making alcohol harder to obtain might help to reduce the occurrence of alcohol-related assaults. The researchers suggest that a particularly effective approach may be to stigmatize alcohol-related brawling, analogous to the way that driving under the influence of alcohol has been made socially unacceptable.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050104.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Bennetts and Seabrook
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides information on all aspects of alcohol abuse, including an article on alcohol use and violence among young adults
Alcohol-related assault is examined in the British Crime Survey
Alcohol Concern, the UK national agency on alcohol misuse, provides fact sheets on the health impacts of alcohol, young people's drinking, and alcohol and crime
The Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto provides information about alcohol addiction (in English and French)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050104
PMCID: PMC2375945  PMID: 18479181
18.  Ethnic Disparities in Self-Reported Oral Health Status and Access to Care among Older Adults in NYC 
There is a growing burden of oral disease among older adults that is most significantly borne by minorities, the poor, and immigrants. Yet, national attention to oral heath disparities has focused almost exclusively on children, resulting in large gaps in our knowledge about the oral health risks of older adults and their access to care. The projected growth of the minority and immigrant elderly population as a proportion of older adults heightens the urgency of exploring and addressing factors associated with oral health-related disparities. In 2008, the New York City Health Indicators Project (HIP) conducted a survey of a representative sample of 1,870 adults over the age of 60 who attended a random selection of 56 senior centers in New York City. The survey included questions related to oral health status. This study used the HIP database to examine differences in self-reported dental status, dental care utilization, and dental insurance, by race/ethnicity, among community-dwelling older adults. Non-Hispanic White respondents reported better dental health, higher dental care utilization, and higher satisfaction with dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Among minority older adults, Chinese immigrants were more likely to report poor dental health, were less likely to report dental care utilization and dental insurance, and were less satisfied with their dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Language fluency was significantly related to access to dental care among Chinese immigrants. Among a diverse community-dwelling population of older adults in New York City, we found significant differences by race/ethnicity in factors related to oral health. Greater attention is needed in enhancing the cultural competency of providers, addressing gaps in oral health literacy, and reducing language barriers that impede access to care.
doi:10.1007/s11524-011-9555-8
PMCID: PMC3157507  PMID: 21850607
Oral health; Older adults; Access to care
19.  [More] evidence to support oral health promotion services targeted to smokers calling tobacco quitlines in the United States 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:336.
Background
Prior research demonstrated a need and opportunity to target smokers calling a free, state-funded tobacco quitline to provide behavioral counseling for oral health promotion; however, it is unclear whether these results generalize to tobacco quitline callers of higher socioeconomic status receiving services through commercially-funded quitlines. This knowledge will inform planning for a future public oral health promotion program targeted to tobacco quitline callers.
Methods
We surveyed smokers (n = 455) who had recently received tobacco quitline services through their medical insurance. Participants were asked about their self-reported oral health indicators, key behavioral risk factors for oral disease, motivation for changing their oral self-care behavior, and interest in future oral health promotion services. Where applicable, results were compared against those from a representative sample of callers to a free, state-funded quitline (n = 816) in the same geographic region.
Results
Callers to a commercially-funded quitline had higher socioeconomic status, were more likely to have dental insurance, and reported better overall oral health indicators and routine self-care (oral hygiene, dental visits) than callers to a state-funded quitline. Nevertheless opportunities for oral health promotion were identified. Nearly 80% of commercial quitline callers failed to meet basic daily hygiene recommendations, 32.8% had not visited the dentist in more than a year, and 63.3% reported daily alcohol consumption (which reacts synergistically with tobacco to increase oral cancer risk). Nearly half (44%) were interested in learning how to improve their oral health status and, on average, moderately high levels of motivation for oral health care were reported. Many participants also had dental insurance, eliminating an important barrier to professional dental care.
Conclusions
Future public oral health promotion efforts should focus on callers to both free state-supported and commercially-funded tobacco quitlines. While differences exist between these populations, both groups report behavioral risk factors for oral disease which represent important targets for intervention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-336
PMCID: PMC3635972  PMID: 23577873
Oral health promotion; Smoking; Tobacco; Oral disease
20.  Methamphetamine Use and Dental Problems Among Adults Enrolled in a Program to Increase Access to Oral Health Services for People Living with HIV/AIDS 
Public Health Reports  2012;127(Suppl 2):25-35.
Objective
We examined the association between methamphetamine (meth) use and dental problems in a large sample of HIV-positive adults.
Methods
We gathered data from 2,178 interviews across 14 sites of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration HIV/AIDS Bureau's Special Projects of National Significance Innovations in Oral Health Care Initiative from May 2007 to August 2010. We used multivariate generalized estimating equations to test the association between meth use and dental problems, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results
Past and current meth use was significantly associated with more dental problems. The study also found that poor self-reported mental health status, fewer years since testing positive for HIV, a history of forgoing dental care, less frequent teeth brushing, poor self-reported oral health status, oral pain, grinding or clenching teeth, some alcohol use, more years of education, and self-reported men-who-have-sex-with-men HIV risk exposure (compared with other exposure routes) were significantly associated with dental problems.
Conclusion
Individuals who are HIV-positive with a history of meth use experience access barriers to oral health care and more dental problems. Our study demonstrated that it is possible to recruit this population into dental care. Findings suggest that predisposing, enabling, and need factors can serve as demographic, clinical, and behavioral markers for recruiting people living with HIV/AIDS into oral health programs that can mitigate dental problems.
PMCID: PMC3314390  PMID: 22547874
21.  Correlates of Unmet Dental Care Need Among HIV-Positive People Since Being Diagnosed with HIV 
Public Health Reports  2012;127(Suppl 2):17-24.
Objectives
We analyzed the characteristics of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who reported unmet oral health needs since testing positive and compared those characteristics with people reporting no unmet health needs. We also identified barriers to accessing oral health care for PLWHA.
Methods
We collected data from 2,469 HIV-positive patients who had not received oral health care in the previous 12 months and who had accessed care at Health Resources and Service Administration-funded Special Projects of National Significance Innovations in Oral Health Care Initiative demonstration sites. The outcome of interest was prior unmet oral health needs. We explore barriers to receiving oral health care, including cost, access, logistics, and personal factors. Bivariate tests of significance and generalized estimating equations were used in analyses.
Results
Nearly half of the study participants reported unmet dental care needs since their HIV diagnosis. People reporting unmet needs were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, U.S.-born, and HIV-positive for more than one year, and to have ever used crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine. The top three reported barriers to oral care were cost, access to dental care, and fear of dental care. Additional reported barriers were indifference to dental care and logistical issues.
Conclusion
Innovative strategies are needed to increase access to and retention in oral health care for PLWHA. Key areas for action include developing strategies to reduce costs, increase access, and reduce personal barriers to receiving dental care, particularly considering the impact of poor oral health in this population.
PMCID: PMC3314389  PMID: 22547873
22.  The association between dental and periodontal diseases and sickle cell disease. A pilot case-control study 
The Saudi Dental Journal  2014;27(1):40-43.
Objective
This is a pilot case-control study conducted to investigate the prevalence of dental caries and periodontal disease and examine the possible association between oral health deterioration and SCD severity in a sample of Saudi SCD patients residing in the city of Al-Qatif, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods
Dental examination to determine the Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth index (DMFT), Community Periodontal Index (CPI), and plaque index system were recorded for 33 SCD patients and 33 age and sex-matched controls in the Al-Qatif Central Hospital, Qatif, Saudi Arabia. Self-administered surveys used to assess socio-economic status; oral health behaviors for both SCD patients and controls were recorded. In addition, the disease severity index was established for all patients with SCD. SPSS data analysis software package version 18.0 was used for statistical analysis. Numerical variables were described as mean with a standard deviation.
Results
Decayed teeth were significantly more in individuals with ages ranging from 18 to 38 years with SCD compared to the control group (p = 0.036) due to oral hygiene negligence. The mean number of filled teeth was significantly lower in individuals with SCD when compared to the control group (p = 0.015) due to the lack of appropriate and timely treatment reflected in the survey responses of SCD patients as 15.2% only taking oral care during hospitalization. There were differences between the cases and controls in the known caries risk factors such as income level, flossing, and brushing habit. The DMFT, CPI, and plaque index systems did not differ significantly between the SCD patients and the control group.
Conclusion
Data suggest that patients with SCD have increased susceptibility to dental caries, with a higher prevalence of tooth decay and lower prevalence of filled teeth. Known caries risk factors influenced oral health more markedly than did factors related to SCD.
doi:10.1016/j.sdentj.2014.08.003
PMCID: PMC4273253  PMID: 25544813
Sickle cell disease; Dental caries; Periodontal
23.  The Prevalence of Mental Disorders among the Homeless in Western Countries: Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(12):e225.
Background
There are well over a million homeless people in Western Europe and North America, but reliable estimates of the prevalence of major mental disorders among this population are lacking. We undertook a systematic review of surveys of such disorders in homeless people.
Methods and Findings
We searched for surveys of the prevalence of psychotic illness, major depression, alcohol and drug dependence, and personality disorder that were based on interviews of samples of unselected homeless people. We searched bibliographic indexes, scanned reference lists, and corresponded with authors. We explored potential sources of any observed heterogeneity in the estimates by meta-regression analysis, including geographical region, sample size, and diagnostic method. Twenty-nine eligible surveys provided estimates obtained from 5,684 homeless individuals from seven countries. Substantial heterogeneity was observed in prevalence estimates for mental disorders among the studies (all Cochran's χ2 significant at p < 0.001 and all I2 > 85%). The most common mental disorders were alcohol dependence, which ranged from 8.1% to 58.5%, and drug dependence, which ranged from 4.5% to 54.2%. For psychotic illness, the prevalence ranged from 2.8% to 42.3%, with similar findings for major depression. The prevalence of alcohol dependence was found to have increased over recent decades.
Conclusions
Homeless people in Western countries are substantially more likely to have alcohol and drug dependence than the age-matched general population in those countries, and the prevalences of psychotic illnesses and personality disorders are higher. Models of psychiatric and social care that can best meet these mental health needs requires further investigation.
Seena Fazel and colleagues show, through a systematic review and meta-regression analysis, that homeless people in Western countries have a higher prevalence of alcohol and drug dependence and mental disorders.
Editors' Summary
Background.
In 2007, it was estimated that there were more than 1 million homeless people worldwide. The true magnitude of the problem is difficult to estimate with no internationally agreed definition for homelessness and with the different approaches taken by countries and organizations in counting homeless people.
What we do know is that this is a diverse group of people who have poorer physical and mental health than the general population, leading to premature death. We also know that addressing barriers to health care and behavioral interventions for alcohol and drug dependence and mental health problems in this population can lead to lasting health gains.
Why Was This Study Done?
Health care for the homeless is a major public health challenge. Public policy and health service development depend on reliable estimates of the prevalence (how common a particular characteristic, e.g., a disease, is in a specific group of people or a specific population) of illnesses. By using statistical methods, the researchers aimed to provide a quantitative synthesis of the available evidence on mental health problems in this population and explore reasons for the differences in reported prevalence rates of serious mental disorders between studies, neither which have been done previously.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers systematically searched for surveys that estimated the prevalence of mental disorders in homeless people. Their final sample of 29 studies included a total of 5,684 homeless individuals based in the US, UK, mainland Europe, and Australia. Their main finding was that the prevalences of serious mental disorders were raised compared with expected rates in the general population, and many orders of magnitude higher than age-matched community estimates for psychosis, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence. In addition, the analysis found that alcohol and drug dependence is the most common mental disorder in the homeless (compared to psychosis, depression, and personality disorder). Also, the prevalence estimates of psychosis were found to be as high as those for depression. This latter finding contrasts with community estimates and other “at risk” populations such as prisoners and refugees, where depression is more common. The authors found substantial variation in the prevalence rates for these various disorders, and demonstrated that participation rates were associated with these variations for psychosis, depression, and personality disorder and that studies conducted more recently reported higher rates of alcohol dependence.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This review raises a number of implications for health services for the homeless and research for this population. First, traditional models of service delivery, which focus on those with severe mental illness, may not meet the mental health needs of most homeless people who suffer from alcohol and drug dependence and personality disorder. Second, an integrated approach to treatment may be beneficial and should take into account mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, welfare, and housing needs. Finally, future research should include studies that follow a group over time to help us better understand the risks and pathways into (and out of) homelessness, particularly in non-Western populations where there appears to be a paucity of information.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050225.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Helen Herrman
“How can health care systems effectively deal with the major health care needs of homeless people?” is a WHO initiative aimed at tackling the health care needs of homeless people
FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless, is an umbrella of not-for-profit organizations that participate in or contribute to the fight against homelessness in Europe
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, mission-driven organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the US
Information and good practice solutions for the homelessness service sector in Australia can be found on the National Homelessness Information Clearinghouse Web site
Homeless Link is the national membership organization for frontline homelessness agencies in England with a mission to catalyze an end to homelessness
Homeless Man Speaks provides an “on-the-street” perspective
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050225
PMCID: PMC2592351  PMID: 19053169
24.  Chlorhexidine alcohol base mouthrinse versus Chlorhexidine formaldehyde base mouthrinse efficacy on plaque control: Double blind, randomized clinical trials 
Background: Chlorhexidine is well known for its antiplaque effect. However, the mouthrinse based chlorhexidine antiplaque efficiency may vary according to the formulation of the final product. The aim of the present study was to compare anti-plaque effectiveness of two commercial mouthrinses: 0.12 % Chlorhexidine alcohol base (CLX-A) versus a diluted 0.1% Chlorhexidine non-alcohol base with 0.1% of Formaldehyde (CLX-F). Material and Methods: the study was a seven day randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial including 30 volunteers. At the start, all participants received a dental prophylaxis. Over 7 days experimental non-brushing period, during which subjects abstained from all forms of mechanical oral hygiene, one group test rinsed twice daily with 15ml of an alcohol base 0.12% Chlorhexidine mouthrinse. The second group test used 15ml of alcohol free 0.1% Chlorhexidine mouthrinse base 0.1% formaldehyde twice daily. The negative control group used a placebo. Plaque indexes were recorded in all volunteers prior to treatment at Day 0, 1 and 7. Results: After 7 days, the mean plaque index for the first group was 0.76±0.38 compared with a mean plaque index of 1.43±0.56 for the second group. The difference in plaque scores between the groups was statistically significant. Conclusion: the results of this study showed that rinsing with an alcohol base 0.12% Chlorhexidine mouthrinse is significantly different from rinsing with an alcohol free 0.1% Chlorhexidine mouthrinse on plaque inhibition.
Key words:Chlorhexidine, dental plaque, mouthrinse, alcohol, formaldehyde.
doi:10.4317/medoral.17863
PMCID: PMC3548633  PMID: 23229237
25.  Tooth decay in alcohol and tobacco abusers 
Background:
Alcohol and tobacco abuse are detrimental to general and oral health. Though the effects of these harmful habits on oral mucosa had been demonstrated, their independent and combined effect on the dental caries experience is unknown and worthy of investigation.
Materials and Methods:
We compared 268 alcohol-only abusers with 2426 alcohol and tobacco abusers in chewing and smoking forms to test the hypothesis that various components of their dental caries experience are significantly different due to plausible sociobiological explanations. Clinical examination, Decay, Missing, Filled Teeth (DMFT) Index and Oral Hygiene Index - Simplified were measured in a predetermined format. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and one-way ANOVA analysis were done using SPSS Version 16.0.
Result:
The mean DMFT were 3.31, 3.24, 4.09, 2.89 for alcohol-only abusers, alcohol and chewing tobacco abusers, smoking tobacco and alcohol abusers, and those who abused tobacco in smoke and smokeless forms respectively. There was no significant difference between the oral hygiene care measures between the study groups. Presence of attrition among chewers and those with extrinsic stains experienced less caries than others.
Discussion and conclusion:
The entire study population exhibited a higher incidence of caries experience. Use of tobacco in any form appears to substantially increase the risk for dental caries. Attrition with use of chewing tobacco and presence of extrinsic stains with tobacco use appear to provide a protective effect from caries. The changes in oral micro-flora owing to tobacco use and alcohol may play a critical role in the initiation and progression of dental caries.
doi:10.4103/0973-029X.80032
PMCID: PMC3125650  PMID: 21731272
Dental caries; India; tobacco; alcohol

Results 1-25 (997875)