Association between disability status and dental attendance patterns in Australian children: A national survey

Seerat Sawhney, Theresa Vu, Fiona Chen, Kingsley Wong, Sobia Zafar, Claudia Patricia Lopez Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study investigated the dental attendance patterns of Australian children with and without disabilities using data from Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Methods: Data on 6470 participants within two groups (B cohort [aged 12–13]: n = 3381; K cohort [aged 16–17]: n = 3089) were used for the study. Binomial regression models were fitted to examine the association between disability status and dental attendance. The models were adjusted for gender, parent's country of birth, region of residence, highest parental education and household weekly income, and multiple imputations was used for handling missing data. Results: Children with disabilities constituted 2.4% and 3.8% of the study sample in the B and K cohort, respectively. The unadjusted risk ratio of irregular (vs. regular) dental attendance between children with and without disabilities was 1.07 (95% CI 0.78–1.46) in the B cohort and 1.15 (95% CI 0.93–1.42) in the K cohort. After adjustment and imputation, the risk ratios were 1.03 (95% CI 0.76–1.41) and 1.10 (95% CI 0.89–1.36) in the B and K cohort, respectively. Conclusions: Dental attendance pattern was positively, but minimally, associated with disabilities in older children, and factors including region of residence, parental education and household income were related to disability status and dental attendance. Further studies are required to clarify the association and ascertain key factors that affect the health and wellbeing of children with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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