The relationship between demographic and health-related factors on dental service attendance by older Australians

Linda Slack-Smith, J. Hyndman

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Objective To determine factors associated with dental attendance by those of 60 years or older in a population-based sample.Design Cross-sectional national health survey.Setting The study used data from the Australian 1995 National Health Survey, which consisted of people interviewed by households.Subjects and Methods A total of 7,544 eligible respondents randomly selected by households from defined statistical areas.Main outcome measures The main outcome investigated in this study was having had a dental visit in the previous 12 months.Main results Age, income, level of social disadvantage, level of education, uptake of private health insurance, smoking, exercise, self assessment of health and having a health concession card all independently influenced the attendance ratios. In combination, after adjusting for all other factors, factors associated with having visited a dentist for males were age, years of schooling, level of social disadvantage, exercise level index, possession of a health concession card and smoking status. Factors associated with having visited for females were age, education, exercise, smoking status and some levels of the interaction between possession of a health concession card and level of social disadvantage.Conclusions The strong influence of age, education, exercise and smoking status indicated a need to target dental services towards those elderly persons in low attendance groups, which mostly represented disadvantaged groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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