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J Public Health Dent. 2011 Spring;71(2):152-60.

Oral health literacy levels among a low-income WIC population.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. leej@dentistry.unc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine oral health literacy (OHL) levels and explore potential racial differences in a low-income population.

METHODS:

This was a cross-sectional study of caregiver/child dyads that completed a structured 30-minute in-person interview conducted by two trained interviewers in seven counties in North Carolina. Sociodemographic, OHL, and dental health-related data were collected. OHL was measured with a dental word recognition test [Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30)]. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate methods were used to examine the distribution of OHL and explore racial differences.

RESULTS:

Of 1658 eligible subjects, 1405 (85 percent) participated and completed the interviews. The analytic sample (N=1280) had mean age 26.5 (standard deviation = 6.9) years with 60 percent having a high school degree or less. OHL varied between racial groups as follows: Whites--mean score = 17.4 (SE = 0.2); African-American (AA)--mean score = 15.3 [standard error (SE) = 0.2]; American Indian (AI)--mean score = 13.7 (SE = 0.3). Multiple linear regression revealed that after controlling for education, county of residence, age, and Hispanic ethnicity, Whites had 2.0 points (95 percent CI = 1.4, 2.6) higher adjusted REALD-30 score versus AA and AI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Differences in OHL levels between racial groups persisted after adjusting for education and sociodemographic characteristics.

PMID:
21774139
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3145966
Free PMC Article

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