Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health and its impact among adults: a cross-sectional study

Schluter, Philip J., Askew, Deborah A., Spurling, Geoff K., Lee, Martin and Hayman, Noel (2017) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health and its impact among adults: a cross-sectional study. Australian Dental Journal, 62 1: 84-94. doi:10.1111/adj.12439

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Author Schluter, Philip J.
Askew, Deborah A.
Spurling, Geoff K.
Lee, Martin
Hayman, Noel
Title Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health and its impact among adults: a cross-sectional study
Journal name Australian Dental Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0421
1834-7819
Publication date 2017-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/adj.12439
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 62
Issue 1
Start page 84
End page 94
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Robust oral health epidemiological information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults is scant. Set within a large urban population, this study describes self-reported oral health behaviours, status and impact assessed through computerized health checks (HC), stratified by age groups and sex, and identifies associations with dental appearance satisfaction.

This was a cross-sectional study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged ≥20 years) attending the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015 who had HC and provided research consent.

There were 945 patients, 466 (49.3%) female, with an average age of 41.3 years (range, 20-82). Overall, 97.3% owned a toothbrush and 56.2% brushed two or more times/day. Despite self-reporting a significant oral health burden, only 28.8% visited a dentist within 12 months, mostly due to problems (84.3%). Surprisingly, only 28.4% reported dental appearance dissatisfaction, likely a result of community normalization whereby people are resigned to poor oral health.

Under-utilization of dental services remains problematic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults. To close the oral heath gap, culturally appropriate, acceptable and safe integrated primary health systems, with co-located dental services, demand consideration.
Formatted abstract
Background
Robust oral health epidemiological information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults is scant. Set within a large urban population, this study describes self-reported oral health behaviours, status and impact assessed through computerised Health Checks (HCs), stratified by age groups and sex, and identifies associations with dental appearance satisfaction.

Methods
A cross-sectional study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 20+ years) attending the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015 who had HCs and provided research consent.

Results
There were 945 patients, 466 (49.3%) female, with average age of 41.3 years (range: 20, 82 years). Overall, 97.3% owned a toothbrush and 56.2% brushed 2+ times/day. Despite self-reporting a significant oral health burden, only 28.8% visited a dentist within 12 months - mostly due to problems (84.3%). Surprisingly, only 28.4% reported dental appearance dissatisfaction; likely a result of community normalisation whereby people are resigned to poor oral health.

Conclusions
Under-utilisation of dental services remains problematic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults. To close the oral heath gap, culturally appropriate, acceptable and safe integrated primary health systems, with co-located dental services, demand consideration.
Keyword Oral health
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Discipline of General Practice Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 09 Nov 2016, 02:37:23 EST by Dr Geoffrey Spurling on behalf of Discipline of General Practice