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1.  Discriminative ability of the generic and condition-specific Child-Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (Child-OIDP) by the Limpopo-Arusha School Health (LASH) Project: A cross-sectional study 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:45.
Generic and condition-specific (CS) oral-health-related quality-of-life (OHRQoL) instruments assess the impacts of general oral conditions and specific oral diseases. Focusing schoolchildren from Arusha and Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, this study compared the discriminative ability of the generic Child OIDP with respect to dental caries and periodontal problems across the study sites. Secondly, the discriminative ability of the generic-and the CS Child OIDP attributed to dental caries, periodontal problems and malocclusion was compared with respect to various oral conditions as part of a construct validation.
In Arusha, 1077 school children (mean age 14.9 years, range 12-17 years) and 1601 school children in Dar es Salaam (mean age 13.0 years, range 12-14 years) underwent oral clinical examinations and completed the Kiswahili version of the generic and CS Child-OIDP inventories. The discriminative ability was assessed as differences in overall mean and prevalence scores between groups, corresponding effect sizes and odd ratios, OR.
The differences in the prevalence scores and the overall mean generic Child-OIDP scores were significant between the groups with (DMFT > 0) and without (DMFT = 0) caries experience and with (simplified oral hygiene index [OHI-S] > 1) and without periodontal problems (OHI-S ≤ 1) in Arusha and Dar es Salaam. In Dar es Salaam, differences in the generic and CS Child-OIDP scores were observed between the groups with and without dental caries, differences in the generic Child-OIDP scores were observed between the groups with and without periodontal problems, and differences in the CS Child-OIDP scores were observed between malocclusion groups. The adjusted OR for the association between dental caries and the CS Child-OIDP score attributed to dental caries was 5.4. The adjusted OR for the association between malocclusion and CS Child-OIDP attributed to malocclusion varied from 8.8 to 2.5.
The generic Child-OIDP discriminated equally well between children with and without dental caries and periodontal problems across socio-culturally different study sites. Compared with its generic form, the CS Child-OIDP discriminated most strongly between children with and without dental caries and malocclusion. The CS Child OIDP attributed to dental caries and malocclusion seems to be better suited to support clinical indicators when estimating oral health needs among school children in Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC3118891  PMID: 21615892
2.  Socio-demographic and behavioural correlates of oral hygiene status and oral health related quality of life, the Limpopo - Arusha school health project (LASH): A cross-sectional study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:87.
Promoting oral health of adolescents is important for improvement of oral health globally. This study used baseline-data from LASH-project targeting secondary students to; 1) assess frequency of poor oral hygiene status and oral impacts on daily performances, OIDP, by socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics, 2) examine whether socio-economic and behavioural correlates of oral hygiene status and OIDP differed by gender and 3) examine whether socio-demographic disparity in oral health was explained by oral health-related behaviours.
Cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 using one-stage cluster sampling design. Total of 2412 students (mean age 15.2 yr) completed self-administered questionnaires, whereas 1077 (mean age 14.9 yr) underwent dental-examination. Bivariate analyses were conducted using cross-tabulations and chi-square statistics. Multiple variable analyses were conducted using stepwise standardized logistic regression (SLR) with odds ratios and 95% Confidence intervals (CI).
44.8% presented with fair to poor OHIS and 48.2% reported any OIDP. Older students, those from low socio-economic status families, had parents who couldn't afford dental care and had low educational-level reported oral impacts, poor oral hygiene, irregular toothbrushing, less dental attendance and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks more frequently than their counterparts. Stepwise logistic regression revealed that reporting any OIDP was independently associated with; older age-groups, parents do not afford dental care, smoking experience, no dental visits and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Behavioural factors accounted partly for association between low family SES and OIDP. Low family SES, no dental attendance and smoking experience were most important in males. Low family SES and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks were the most important correlates in females.
Socio-behavioural factors associated with higher odds ratios for poor OHIS were; older age, belonging to the poorest household category and having parents who did not afford dental care across both genders.
Disparities in oral hygiene status and OIDP existed in relation to age, affording dental care, smoking and intake of sugar sweetened soft drinks. Gender differences should be considered in intervention studies, and modifiable behaviours have some relevance in reducing social disparity in oral health.
PMCID: PMC3001697  PMID: 21118499
3.  Socio-demographic disparity in oral health among the poor: a cross sectional study of early adolescents in Kilwa district, Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:7.
There is a lack of studies considering social disparity in oral health emanating from adolescents in low-income countries. This study aimed to assess socio-demographic disparities in clinical- and self reported oral health status and a number of oral health behaviors. The extent to which oral health related behaviors might account for socio-demographic disparities in oral health status was also examined.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kilwa district in 2008. One thousand seven hundred and forty five schoolchildren completed an interview and a full mouth clinical examination. Caries experience was recorded using WHO criteria, whilst type of treatment need was categorized using the ART approach.
The majority of students were caries free (79.8%) and presented with a low need for dental treatment (89.3%). Compared to their counterparts in opposite groups, rural residents and those from less poor households presented more frequently with caries experience (DMT>0), high need for dental treatment and poor oral hygiene behavior, but were less likely to report poor oral health status. Stepwise logistic regressions revealed that social and behavioral variables varied systematically with caries experience, high need for dental treatment and poor self reported oral health. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes persisted after adjusting for oral health behaviors.
Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes and oral health behaviors do exist. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes were marginally accounted for by oral health behaviors. Developing policies and programs targeting both social and individual determinants of oral health should be an urgent public health strategy in Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC2868779  PMID: 20406452
4.  Oral health related behaviors among adult Tanzanians: a national pathfinder survey 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:22.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2749019  PMID: 19751519
5.  Dental pain, oral impacts and perceived need for dental treatment in Tanzanian school students: a cross-sectional study 
Dental caries, dental pain and reported oral problems influence people's oral quality of life and thus their perceived need for dental care. So far there is scant information as to the psychosocial impacts of dental diseases and the perceived treatment need in child populations of sub-Saharan Africa.
Focusing on primary school students in Kilwa, Tanzania, a district deprived of dental services and with low fluoride concentration in drinking water, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of dental pain and oral impacts on daily performances (OIDP), and to describe the distribution of OIDP by socio-demographics, dental caries, dental pain and reported oral problems. The relationship of perceived need estimates with OIDP was also investigated.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008. A total of 1745 students (mean age 13.8 yr, sd = 1.67) completed an extensive personal interview and under-went clinical examination. The impacts on daily performances were assessed using a Kiswahili version of the Child-OIDP instrument and caries experience was recorded using WHO (1997) criteria.
A total of 36.2% (41.3% urban and 31.4% rural, p < 0.001) reported at least one OIDP. The prevalence of dental caries was 17.4%, dental pain 36.4%, oral problems 54.1% and perceived need for dental treatment 46.8% in urban students. Corresponding estimates in rural students were 20.8%, 24.4%, 43.3% and 43.8%. Adjusted OR for reporting oral impacts if having dental pain ranged from 2.5 (95% CI 1.8–3.6) (problem smiling) to 4.7 (95% CI 3.4–6.5) (problem sleeping),- if having oral problems, from 1.9 (95% CI 1.3–2.6) (problem sleeping) to 3.8 (95% CI 2.7–5.2) (problem eating) and if having dental caries from 1.5 (95% CI 1.1–2.0) (problem eating) to 2.2 (95% CI 1.5–2.9) (problem sleeping). Students who perceived need for dental care were less likely to be females (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–0.9) and more likely to have impacts on eating (OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.4–2.7) and tooth cleaning (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.6–2.5).
Substantial proportions of students suffered from untreated dental caries, oral impacts on daily performances and perceived need for dental care. Dental pain and reported oral problems varied systematically with OIDP across the eight impacts considered. Eating and tooth cleaning problems discriminated between subjects who perceived need for dental treatment and those who did not.
PMCID: PMC2726126  PMID: 19643004
Journal of Applied Oral Science  2009;17(2):97-102.
The aim of this study was to describe the attitude and subjective norm of dental practitioners towards practicing the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) in Tanzania. A pre-tested questionnaire on attitudes and subjective norms to practice ART was mailed to all 147 dental practitioners working in the regional and district government clinics. The independent variables were: gender, working experience, qualification and ever heard of ART. The dependent variables were: attitude, subjective norm and intention to practice ART. Chi-square tests and multiple regression analysis were used to test for effects between independent and dependent variables. Significance level was set at 5%. A total of 138 practitioners returned completed questionnaires. More experienced dental practitioners encountered moderate social pressure than less experienced dental practitioners, who met strong social pressure (p=0.045). A total of 73.2% of dental practitioners felt that ART was worth introducing in Tanzania, 92.8% recommended ART training for all dental practitioners and 97.8% recommended inclusion of ART in dental curricula. Positive attitude, strong subjective norm and high intention to practice ART were recorded in 76.3%, 28.1% and 90.6% of the practitioners, respectively. Only subjective norm had a statistically significant influence on the intention to practice ART (p<0.0001). The results indicated that dental practitioners were willing to have ART introduced in Tanzania and had positive attitudes towards practicing this technique. Nevertheless, their intention to perform ART was strongly influenced by social pressures. Therefore, in order to have a successful introduction of ART in Tanzania, people who matter in the daily practice of dental practitioners need to accept and appraise the ART approach positively.
PMCID: PMC4327584  PMID: 19274393
Atraumatic Restorative Treatment; Oral health, attitude; Dental practitioner; Tanzania
7.  Clinical and socio-behavioral correlates of tooth loss: a study of older adults in Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:5.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC1471779  PMID: 16536880

Results 1-7 (7)