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Community Dent Health. 2012 Mar;29(1):78-84.

Illness-related behaviour and sociodemographic determinants of oral health care use in Dabou, Côte d'Ivoire.

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Laboratory of Public Health And Medicinal Plants, Faculty of Odonto-Stomatology University of Cocody, 22 Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire.



The aims of this study were to describe adults' oral health behaviour and identify the sociodemographic determinants that influence people to seek oral care in Côte d'Ivoire, in a context of promoting a more accessible health care system.


The design was a cross-sectional pilot survey undertaken in the department of Dabou, Côte d'Ivoire. A stratified sampling procedure with proportional allocation size was used, based on four different criteria: place of residence; type of dwelling; distance between the chosen locality and the dental clinic; and, the presence of a medical centre in the locality. The sample consisted of 927 people (18 years or older) who were interviewed by questionnaire. Data were collected at face to face interviews, using the method of itineraries.


34% of the population had not accessed a dental practitioner during the past 12 months. The reasons for not seeking care were: self-medication, lack of money and a perception of not needing care. A dentist or a traditional healer had been sought by 33%. The choice of therapy was influenced by educational level and having health insurance (p < 0.05). The main reasons for attending a traditional healer were linked to educational level, the type of dwelling and the participants' place of residence (p < 0.05). Choosing to see a dentist was associated with age, the type of dwelling and the distance between the chosen locality and the dental clinic (p < 0.05


The socioeconomic situation of the participants was a determining factor for seeking care. Improving access to health care should be part of the global fight against poverty and the reduction of social inequalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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