Does optimal access to dental care counteract the oral health-related quality of life social gradient?

Crocombe, L. A. and Mahoney, G. D. (2016) Does optimal access to dental care counteract the oral health-related quality of life social gradient?. Australian Dental Journal, 61 4: 418-424. doi:10.1111/adj.12393

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Author Crocombe, L. A.
Mahoney, G. D.
Title Does optimal access to dental care counteract the oral health-related quality of life social gradient?
Journal name Australian Dental Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1834-7819
Publication date 2016-12-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/adj.12393
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 61
Issue 4
Start page 418
End page 424
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract

The aim of this study was to determine if an oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) social gradient existed when Australian Defence Force (ADF) members have universal and optimal access to dental care.


A nominal roll included 4089 individuals who were deployed to the Solomon Islands as part of Operation ANODE and a comparison group of 4092 ADF personnel frequency matched to the deployed group on gender, age group and service type, from which 500 deployed and 500 comparison individuals were randomly selected. The dependent variables were the OHIP-14 summary measures. Rank was used to determine socioeconomic status. The demographic variables selected were: gender and age.


The response rate was 44%. Of the individual OHIP-14 items, being self-conscious, painful aching and having discomfort when eating were the most common problems. Mean OHIP-14 severity was 2.8. In bivariate analysis, there was not a significant difference in mean OHIP-14 severity (p = 0.52) or frequency of OHIP-14 impacts (p = 0.57) by military rank. There was a significant increasing OHIP-14 extent score from commissioned officer to non-commissioned officer to other ranks (0.07, 0.19, 0.40, p = 0.03).


Even with optimal access to dental care, there was an OHRQoL social gradient between military ranks in the ADF.
Keyword Defence force
Dental care/utilization
Dental health surveys
Outcome assessment (health care)
Quality of life
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
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