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Type: Journal article
Title: Associations between dental care approachability and dental attendance among women pregnant with an Indigenous child: a cross-sectional study
Author: Gao, Y.
Ju, X.
Jamieson, L.
Citation: BMC Oral Health, 2021; 21(1):451-1-451-10
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1472-6831
Statement of
Yuan Gao, Xiangqun Ju, and Lisa Jamieson
Abstract: Background: Oral health during pregnancy is vital for both mother and child. Indigenous Australians face many barriers in accessing dental care. Service approachability is one of the key domains in accessing health services. There is little empirical evidence of the association between service approachability and dental care attendance or oral health outcome. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between dental service approachability on dental care attendance and self-reported gum disease among South Australian women pregnant with an Aboriginal child. Methods: Four hundred and twenty-seven women pregnant with an Aboriginal child completed questionnaires in both metropolitan and regional health settings in South Australia in 2011. Four variables related to approachability of dental services: (1) perception of need; (2) service-related health literacy; (3) oral health beliefs and; (4) trust and expectation of dental service. The association between service approachability-related factors, dental utilisation and self-reported gum disease during pregnancy were assessed using Generalised Poisson regression models, after adjusting for age, remoteness, employment status and education. Estimates were presented as adjusted prevalence ratios (APR). Results: Most participants (85.8%) reported a need for dental care, had positive oral health beliefs (88.3%) and had expectations towards dental care (86.2%). Dental service utilisation during pregnancy was low (35.7%). Many participants (78.0%) expressed knowing what to do if they needed dental care, while most (39.8%) doubted that dental care would be available the next day. Poor health service literacy was identifed as a risk factor for non-optimal dental attendance (APR=0.86, 95%CI 0.74–0.99). Perceived need for dental care was positively associated with self-reported gum disease (APR=1.24, 95%CI 1.06–1.45). Conclusion: Inability to navigate the dental care system was a risk factor for poor dental attendance among South Australian women pregnant with an Aboriginal child. Perceived need for dental care was associated with gum disease.
Keywords: Aboriginal study
Access to healthcare
Oral health
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
DOI: 10.1186/s12903-021-01816-5
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Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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