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Community Dent Health. 2008 Sep;25(3):137-42.

Oral health and its impact on the life quality of homeless people in Hong Kong.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, The Prince Philip Dental Hospital, 34 Hospital Road, Hong Kong. violaluo@hku.hk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To report on the oral health status and its impact on the life quality of homeless people in Hong Kong.

DESIGN:

A cross sectional epidemiological survey involving clinical oral examinations and face-to-face interviews with 147 homeless participants. Clinical examinations were carried out following WHO criteria. The impact of oral health on quality of life was assessed with the short form of Oral Health Impact Profile, OHIP-14.

RESULTS:

Over 90% had caries experience and most related to untreated decay. The mean DMFT score for dentate subjects was 8.1 (DT = 3.4, MT = 4.0, FT = 0.7). Periodontal disease was highly prevalent, 96% having periodontal pockets. The burden of oral health on their daily lives was common, 88% reporting an oral health impact within the past year. A multiple regression analysis indicated that the OHIP-14 score had significant associations with self-rated oral health, dental pain, employment status and length of time being homeless (p < 0.05). Those who assessed rated oral health as 'poor/very poor', reported dental pain in the past year, were unemployed, and homeless for more than one year had poorer oral health related quality of life (significantly higher OHIP scores) than their counterparts.

CONCLUSION:

Among the homeless population studied, oral health status was poor and its impact on their life quality was substantial. The oral health impact was associated with socio-demographics and perceived dental problems.

PMID:
18839718
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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