Quantitative analysis on dental utilisation in culturally and linguistically diverse mothers

Kanchan Marcus, Madhan Balasubramanian, Stephanie D. Short, Woosung Sohn

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Abstract

Background
Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) mothers are influential in children’s behaviours, yet little is known about this population. Furthermore, insufficient quantitative and context-based studies are available with CALD mothers and their access to oral healthcare. To address this gap, the study investigates oral health behaviours, psychological factors and remoteness area with dental utilisation in CALD mothers, within the NSW context.

Methods
Informed by middle range theory and a CALD specific rainbow model, the 2013 and 2015 NSW Adult Population Health Survey was analysed. Variables for CALD mothers included household structure, age and language spoken. Multivariable analysis was conducted with oral health behaviours, psychological and remoteness variables, with dental utilisation as the outcome.

Results
The sample was weighted (n= 190,283). In total, 39.8% did not have a dental visit and older mothers (36-55) sought more dental services than younger mothers (18-35). Higher odds for treatment dental care (aOR 2.21,CI 1.12-4.37) than prevention-oriented care was found. Mothers experiencing moderate levels of psychological distress (aOR 0.49, CI 0.31-0.77), or residing in outer regional and remote regions (aOR 0.19,CI 0.04-0.85) were less likely to utilise dental care.

Conclusion
Findings underline geographical issues in dental care utilisation and the need for integrated care for CALD mothers experiencing psychological distress and to encourage uptake of preventive oral healthcare. Addressing cost barriers necessitates for universal health coverage. Multidisciplinary integration of healthcare services with improved primary sector collaboration between governments and healthcare providers and the expansion to regional services is required for equity in CALD communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPY23136
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date7 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • access to primary care
  • dental health services
  • health disparities
  • health inequalities
  • oral health
  • population health
  • primary health care
  • psychological distress
  • vulnerable populations

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