Association between oral health knowledge, perceived oral health related quality of life, perceived oral health status and emergency department and/or urgent care visit: Results from the multi-site oral health literacy study

Folasayo Adunola, Mark D. Macek, Kathryn Atchison, Aderonke Akinkugbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the link between oral health knowledge (OHK), self-perceived oral health, and emergency room (ER)/urgent care utilization for a dental problem. Methods: Data were analyzed from a convenience sample of 790 adult participants who presented to two US dental schools and completed an interviewer-administered survey. Key independent variables were OHK assessed with the Comprehensive Measure of Oral Health Knowledge (CMOHK) instrument, self-perceived oral health status and quality of life determined using the General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) scores. The dependent variable was ER and/or urgent care utilization for a dental problem. Select sociodemographic variables such as age and gender were adjusted for in logistic regression models using SAS. Results: 15.7% of the participants had ever visited an ER and/or urgent care for a dental problem. CMOHK scores were not significantly associated with visits to the ER and/or urgent care. In adjusted analysis, participants with unfavorable GOHAI scores were about three times as likely to have had an ER and/or urgent care visit (OR = 2.60, 95% CI: 1.66–4.09). Similarly, participants who were unsatisfied with their oral health were about twice as likely to have had an ER and/or urgent care visit (OR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.21–3.00) as compared to those satisfied with their oral health status. Conclusion: Individuals unsatisfied with their oral health and those with unfavorable perceived oral health related quality of life could benefit from a greater awareness of dental service availability and extended hours including weekend hours at public dental clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • ER visit for a dental problem
  • dental health services
  • oral health knowledge
  • oral health literacy
  • oral health related quality of life
  • perceived oral health status
  • urgent care center visit for a dental problem

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