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Br Dent J. 1997 Feb 8;182(3):96-100.

Factors influencing perceived treatment need and the dental attendance patterns of older adults.

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1
Department of Public Health, Liverpool Health Authority.

Abstract

AIM:

To identify variables influencing perceived treatment need of older individuals and to identify predictive variables for reported dental attendance.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study using a self-report, posted questionnaire.

SETTING:

Two electoral wards, one deprived and one affluent, in the city of Liverpool in 1994.

SUBJECTS AND MATERIALS:

Samples of older individuals (aged 60-65) were selected at random using the FHSA register as a sampling frame. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed, 250 to each ward. The measuring instrument included the Subjective Oral Health Status Indicators (SOHSI).

RESULTS:

342 questionnaires (68.4%) were returned. There was a highly significant (P < 0.001) association between living in a deprived area and reported poor dental attendance. Recent pain experience and concern about oral health and appearance were significant predictors for perceived treatment need. The main factor predicting subjective need for treatment was a reported history of regular, asymptomatic visiting. Such individuals were nearly six times more likely to have a perceived treatment need than poor attenders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Identification and quantification of these variables is necessary in order to promote regular, asymptomatic dental attendance and for the future planning of dental services for older individuals.

PMID:
9055475
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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