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1.  Oral health related behaviors among adult Tanzanians: a national pathfinder survey 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:22.
Background
The oral health education programs which have been organised and delivered in Tanzania were not based on a thorough understanding of behaviours which influence oral health. Therefore, evaluation of these programs became difficult. This study aimed at investigating the oral health related behaviours and their determinants among Tanzanian adults.
Methods
A national pathfinder cross sectional survey was conducted in 2006 involving 1759 respondents from the six geographic zones of mainland Tanzania. Frequency distributions, Chi square and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed using SPSS version 13.0.
Results
The rates of abstinence from alcohol for the past 30 days and life time smoking were 61.6% and 16.7% respectively, with males being more likely to smoke (OR 9.2, CI 6.3 -12.9, p < 0.001) and drink alcohol (OR 1.5, CI 1.2 -1.8, p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that; having dental pain (OR 0.7, CI 0.5-0.8; p < 0.001) and being minimally educated (OR 0.48, CI 0.4-0.6; p < 0.001) reduced the likelihood of having a high sugar score. Whereas being male (OR 1.5, CI 1.2- 1.8; p < 0.001), urban (OR 1.9, CI 1.5 -2.3; p < 0.001), and young (OR 1.5, CI 1.2 -1.8; p < 0.001) increased the likelihood of having a high sugar score. Urban residents were less likely to take alcohol (OR 0.7, CI 0.6-0.9; p < 0.01), or smoke cigarette (OR = 0.7, CI = 0.6-0.9); less likely to be those who do not use fruits (OR 0.3, CI 0.2-0.4; p < 0.001); dental clinic (OR 0.5, CI 0.4-0.7; p < 0.001); factory made tooth brushes (OR 0.1, CI 0.08-0.17; p < 0.001) and toothpaste (OR 0.1, CI 0.1-0.2; p < 0.001) than their rural counterparts. More rural (13.2%) than urban (4.6%) residents used charcoal.
Conclusion
The findings of this study demonstrated social demographic disparities in relation to oral health related behaviors, while dental pain was associated with low consumption of sugar and high likelihood to take alcohol.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-9-22
PMCID: PMC2749019  PMID: 19751519
2.  Perceived dental treatment need among older Tanzanian adults – a cross-sectional study 
BMC Oral Health  2007;7:9.
Background
Need perceptions for dental care play a key role as to whether people in general will seek dental care. The aim was to assess the prevalence of perceived need of problem based dental care, dental check-ups and any type of dental care. Guided by the conceptual model of Wilson and Cleary, the relationship of perceived need for dental care with socio-demographic characteristics, clinically defined dental problems and self-reported oral health outcomes was investigated. Partial prosthetic treatment need was estimated using a socio-dental approach.
Method
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Pwani region and in Dar es Salaam in 2004/2005. Information from interviews and clinical examination became available for 511 urban and 520 rural adults (mean age 62.9 yr).
Results
51.7% (95% CI 46.2, 57.0) urban and 62.5 % (95% CI 53.1, 70.9) rural inhabitants confirmed need for dental check-up, 42.9% (95% CI 36.9, 48.9) urban and 52.7% (95% CI 44.5, 60.6) rural subjects confirmed need for problem oriented care and 38.4% (95% CI 32.4, 44.6) urban versus 49.6% (95% CI 41.8, 57.4) rural residents reported need for any type of dental care. Binary and ordinal multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that adults who reported bad oral health and broken teeth were more likely to perceive need for dental care across the three outcome measures than their counterparts. Socio-demographic factors and clinically defined problems had less impact. Based on a normative and an integrated socio-dental approach respectively 39.5% and 4.7% were in need for partial dentures.
Conclusion
About half of the participants confirmed need for problem oriented care, dental check-ups and any type of dental care. Need perceptions were influenced by perceived oral health, clinically assessed oral problems and socio-demographic characteristics. Need estimates for partial denture was higher when based on clinical examination alone compared to an integrative socio-dental approach.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-7-9
PMCID: PMC1939845  PMID: 17625014
3.  Clinical and socio-behavioral correlates of tooth loss: a study of older adults in Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:5.
Background
Focusing 50 year olds and above, this study assessed the frequency, extent and correlates of tooth loss due to various reasons. Frequency and correlates of posterior occluding support was also investigated.
Method
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in Pwani region and in Dar es Salaam in 2004/2005. One thousand and thirty-one subjects, mean age 62.9 years participated in a clinical examination and completed interviews.
Results
The prevalence of tooth loss due to any reason was 83.5 %, due to caries 63.4% and due to other reasons than caries, 32.5%. A total of 74.9% had reduced number of posterior occluding units. Compared to subjects having less than 5 teeth lost due to caries, those with 5 or more lost teeth were more likely to be females, having decayed teeth, confirming dental attendance and to be among the least poor residents. Compared to subjects who had lost less than 5 teeth due to reasons other than caries, those who had lost 5 or more teeth were more likely to be of higher age, having mobile teeth, being males, being very poor and to disconfirm dental attendance when having problems. Predictors of prevalence of tooth loss (1 or more lost tooth) due to various reasons and reduced number of occluding units followed similar patterns of relationships.
Conclusion
The results are consistent with prevalence and extent of tooth loss due to caries and due to reasons other than caries being differently related to disease- and socio- behavioral risk indicators. Caries was the principle cause of tooth loss and molar teeth were the teeth most commonly lost.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-6-5
PMCID: PMC1471779  PMID: 16536880

Results 1-3 (3)