Psychological distress and self-rated oral health among a convenience sample of Indigenous Australians

N Amarasena, Kostas Kapellas, Alex Brown, Michael Skilton, Louise Maple-Brown, Mark Bartold, Kerin O'Dea, David Celermajer, Gary Slade, L Jamieson

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    Abstract

    Objectives This study sought to: a) estimate the frequency of poor self-rated oral health as assessed by a summary measure; b) compare frequency according to sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychological distress factors; and (3) determine if psychological distress was associated with poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for confounding. Methods Data were from a convenience sample of Indigenous Australian adults (n = 289) residing in Australia's Northern Territory. Poor self-rated oral health was defined as reported experience of toothache, poor dental appearance or food avoidance in the last 12 months. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate socio-demographic, behavioral, and psychological distress associations with poor self-rated oral health (SROH). Effects were quantified as odds ratios (OR). Results The frequency of poor SROH was 73.7 percent. High psychological distress, measured by a Kessler-6 score ≥8, was experienced by 33.9 percent of participants. Poor SROH was associated with high levels of psychological distress, being older, being female, and usually visiting a dentist because of a problem. In the multivariable model, factors that were significantly associated with poor SROH after adjustment for other covariates included having a high level of psychological distress (OR 2.74, 95% CI 1.25-6.00), being female (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.03-4.78), and usually visiting a dentist because of a problem (OR 3.57, 95% CI 1.89-6.76). Conclusions Poor self-rated oral health and high levels of psychological distress were both highly frequent among this vulnerable population. Psychological distress was significantly associated with poor self-rated oral health after adjustment for confounding.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)126-133
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
    Volume75
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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  • Cite this

    Amarasena, N., Kapellas, K., Brown, A., Skilton, M., Maple-Brown, L., Bartold, M., O'Dea, K., Celermajer, D., Slade, G., & Jamieson, L. (2015). Psychological distress and self-rated oral health among a convenience sample of Indigenous Australians. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 75(2), 126-133. https://doi.org/10.1111/jphd.12080