Objective The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) was introduced in 2014, and its aim was to support access to dental care for eligible children in Australia. Dental caries, and pulp and periapical diseases were the major dental reasons for children's hospitalisations. This study investigated if the availability of the CDBS had any effects on hospitalisation rates in Australian children. Methods This study was a retrospective analysis of Medicare data from the Australian Government and the hospitalisation data from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) from 2008 (6 years before the commencement of the CDBS) to 2020 (6 years after the commencement of the CDBS). Results Although the hospitalisation rate trend was reducing before the CDBS started (2008-14), this reduction was not statistically significant. The reduction of hospitalisation rates was higher after the commencement of the CDBS (2014-20) and was statistically significant, but the regression model analysis showed a positive correlation between the CDBS and hospitalisation rate. The analysis without 'abnormal' year data (2019-20, COVID-19 pandemic year) supported no statistically significant decrease in hospitalisation rate after the commencement of the CDBS in 2014 until 2019. Conclusion Although the CDBS is improving access to dental care for eligible children, any possible effects the CDBS might have on hospitalisations are not yet evident.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Australian health review : a publication of the Australian Hospital Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2023|