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Type: Journal article
Title: An intersectionality approach to Indigenous oral health inequities; the super-additive impacts of racism and negative life events
Author: Jamieson, L.
Ju, X.
Haag, D.
Ribeiro, P.
Soares, G.
Hedges, J.
Citation: PLoS One, 2023; 18(1):1-12
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Issue Date: 2023
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Lisa Jamieson, Xiangqun Ju, Dandara Haag, Pedro Ribeiro, Gustavo Soares, Joanne Hedge
Abstract: Objectives: Indigenous Australians experience cumulative forms of oppression. Using intersectionality as the underlying analytical framework, and with oral health as an outcome, we demonstrate how oppressions are interlinked and cannot be treated in isolation. The study aimed to quantify the cumulative effect of two forms of oppression on Indigenous Australian oral health inequities. Methods: This observational study was conducted Feb 2018-Jan 2020. Recruitment occurred through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in South Australia, Australia. Eligibility included identifying as Indigenous, residing in South Australia and aged 18+ years. Socio-demographic factors, health-related characteristics, experience of racism, negative life events and self-reported oral health outcomes were collected. The main outcomes were fair/poor self-rated oral health and oral health related quality of life, measured by OHIP-14. Effect-measure modification was used to verify differences on effect sizes per strata of negative life events and racism. The presence of modification was indicated by Relative Excess Risk due to Interactions (RERIs). Results: Data were obtained for 1,011 participants, median age 37 years, 66% female and 63% residing in non-metropolitan locations. Over half (52%) had experienced racism in the past 12 months and 85% had experienced one or more negative life events. Around one-third (34%) rated their oral health as fair/poor and the mean OHIP-14 score was 17. A higher proportion of participants who had experienced both racism and negative life events (46%) were male (52%), aged 37+ years (47%), resided in metropolitan locations (57%), reported difficulty paying a $100 dental bill (47%), had fair/poor self-rated oral health (54%) and higher mean OHIP-14 scores (20). The RERIs observed were 0.31 for fair/poor self-rated oral health and 0.23 for mean OHIP-14. The positive RERIs indicated a super-additive effect between racism, negative life events (effect modifier) and self-reported oral health outcomes. CONCLUSION: The more oppressions participants experienced, in the form of racism and negative life events, the greater the burden of poor self-reported oral health. The study is one of the first to use intersectionality as a theory to explain oral health inequities as experienced by Indigenous Australians.
Keywords: Humans
Quality of Life
Oral Health
Health Inequities
Intersectional Framework
Rights: © 2023 Jamieson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279614
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