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1.  Risk indicators for severe impaired oral health among indigenous Australian young adults 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:1.
Background
Oral health impairment comprises three conceptual domains; pain, appearance and function. This study sought to: (1) estimate the prevalence of severe oral health impairment as assessed by a summary oral health impairment measure, including aspects of dental pain, dissatisfaction with dental appearance and difficulty eating, among a birth cohort of Indigenous Australian young adults (n = 442, age range 16-20 years); (2) compare prevalence according to demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and oral health outcome risk indicators; and (3) ascertain the independent contribution of those risk indicators to severe oral health impairment in this population.
Methods
Data were from the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study, a prospective longitudinal investigation of Aboriginal individuals born 1987-1990 at an Australian regional hospital. Data for this analysis pertained to Wave-3 of the study only. Severe oral health impairment was defined as reported experience of toothache, poor dental appearance and food avoidance in the last 12 months. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate effects of demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and clinical oral disease indicators on severe oral health impairment. Effects were quantified as odds ratios (OR).
Results
The percent of participants with severe oral health impairment was 16.3 (95% CI 12.9-19.7). In the multivariate model, severe oral health impairment was associated with untreated dental decay (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6-9.6). In addition to that clinical indicator, greater odds of severe oral health impairment were associated with being female (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.6), being aged 19-20 years (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.6), soft drink consumption every day or a few days a week (OR 2.6, 95% 1.2-5.6) and non-ownership of a toothbrush (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.4).
Conclusions
Severe oral health impairment was prevalent among this population. The findings suggest that public health strategies that address prevention and treatment of dental disease, self-regulation of soft drink consumption and ownership of oral self-care devices are needed if severe oral health impairment among Indigenous Australian young adults is to be reduced.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-10-1
PMCID: PMC2827466  PMID: 20102640
2.  Self-efficacy and self-rated oral health among pregnant aboriginal Australian women 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:29.
Background
Self-efficacy plays an important role in oral health-related behaviours. There is little known about associations between self-efficacy and subjective oral health among populations at heightened risk of dental disease. This study aimed to determine if low self-efficacy was associated with poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for confounding among a convenience sample of pregnant women.
Methods
We used self-reported data from 446 Australian women pregnant with an Aboriginal child (age range 14–43 years) to evaluate self-rated oral health, self-efficacy and socio-demographic, psychosocial, social cognitive and risk factors. Hierarchical entry of explanatory variables into logistic regression models estimated prevalence odds ratios (POR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for fair or poor self-rated oral health.
Results
In an unadjusted model, those with low self-efficacy had 2.40 times the odds of rating their oral health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ (95% CI 1.54–3.74). Addition of socio-demographic factors attenuated the effect of low self-efficacy on poor self-rated oral health by 10 percent (POR 2.19, 95% CI 1.37–3.51). Addition of the psychosocial factors attenuated the odds by 17 percent (POR 2.07, 95% CI 1.28–3.36), while addition of the social cognitive variable fatalism increased the odds by 1 percent (POR 2.42, 95% CI 1.55–3.78). Inclusion of the behavioural risk factor ‘not brushing previous day’ attenuated the odds by 15 percent (POR 2.11, 95%CI 1.32–3.36). In the final model, which included all covariates, the odds were attenuated by 32 percent (POR 1.80, 95% CI 1.05, 3.08).
Conclusions
Low self-efficacy persisted as a risk indicator for poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for confounding among this vulnerable population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-29
PMCID: PMC3976034  PMID: 24690235
3.  Dental general anaesthetic trends among Australian children 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:16.
Background
Children receive dental general anaesthetic (DGA) care when standard dental treatment is not possible. Receipt of DGA care is resource-intensive and not without risk. This study examines trends in receipt of DGA care among Australian children.
Methods
Child DGA data were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Hospital Morbidity Database for 1993–2004. Poisson regression modelling was used to examine DGA rates in relation to age, sex, Indigenous status, location, year and procedure.
Results
There was a 3-fold increase in DGA rates from 1993–1994 (215.8 ± 2.9 per 100,000) to 2003–2004 (731.4 ± 5.3 per 100,000) (P < 0.001). Across all years, children who were aged 0–4 years, male or rural/remote-dwelling had higher DGA rates than their 5–9-year-old, female or metropolitan-dwelling counterparts respectively. There was a 7.0-fold increase in the rate of Indigenous admissions from 1993–1994 (116.5 ± 10.2 per 100,000) to 2003–2004 (806.6 ± 25.7 per 100,000). Extraction rates increased 4.9-fold from 1993–1994 (109.2 ± 2.9 per 100,000) to 2003–2004 (540.0 ± 4.5 per 100,000), while restoration rates increased 3.3-fold in the same observation period (139.5 ± 2.3 per 100,000 in 1993–1994 to 462.6 ± 4.2 per 100,000 in 2003–2004). For admissions in which one or more extractions were received, Indigenous rates were 47% greater than non-Indigenous rates after adjusting for other covariates.
Conclusion
Child DGA rates in Australia are increasing. Children who are pre-school-aged, male, Indigenous or living in a rural/remote location are disproportionally represented among those receiving such care. There are higher rates of extractions as opposed to more conservative procedures, particularly among Indigenous children.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-6-16
PMCID: PMC1770909  PMID: 17184552
4.  Dental general anaesthetic receipt among Australians aged 15+ years, 1998–1999 to 2004–2005 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:10.
Background
Adults receive dental general anaesthetic (DGA) care when standard dental treatment is not possible. Receipt of DGA care is resource-intensive and not without risk. This study explores DGA receipt among 15+-year-old Australians by a range of risk indicators.
Methods
DGA data were obtained from Australia's Hospital Morbidity Database from 1998–1999 to 2004–2005. Poisson regression modeling was used to examine DGA rates in relation to age, sex, Indigenous status, location and procedure.
Results
The overall DGA rate was 472.79 per 100,000 (95% CI 471.50–474.09). Treatment of impacted teeth (63.7%) was the most common reason for DGA receipt, followed by dental caries treatment (12.4%), although marked variations were seen by age-group. After adjusting for other covariates, DGA rates among 15–19-year-olds were 13.20 (95% CI 12.65–13.78) times higher than their 85+-year-old counterparts. Females had 1.46 (95% CI 1.45–1.47) times the rate of their male counterparts, while those living in rural/remote areas had 2.70 (95% CI 2.68–2.72) times the rate of metropolitan-dwellers. DGA rates for non-Indigenous persons were 4.88 (95% CI 4.73–5.03) times those of Indigenous persons. The DGA rate for 1+ extractions was 461.9 per 100,000 (95% CI 460.6–463.2), compared with a rate of 23.6 per 100,000 (95% CI 23.3–23.9) for 1+ restorations.
Conclusion
Nearly two-thirds of DGAs were for treatment of impacted teeth. Persons aged 15–19 years were disproportionately represented among those receiving DGA care, along with females, rural/remote-dwellers and those identifying as non-Indigenous. More research is required to better understand the public health implications of DGA care among 15+-year-olds, and how the demand for receipt of such care might be reduced.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-10
PMCID: PMC2329614  PMID: 18402707

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