Dental service utilisation in young adults: a function of need, health behaviours or socio-demographic variables? [ 2001 - 2002 ]

Also known as: Use of dental services by young adults - what helps and what hinders?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Kaye Roberts-Thomson (Principal investigator) ,  Prof David Brennan Prof A. John Spencer Ms Judith Stewart

Brief description Over the past 20 years there have been significant gains made in the oral health of children, with the majority of 12 year olds in Australia in 1996 having no dental decay. There are however some indications that young adulthood may have become a period of increased risk of dental disease, as young adults leave home, become increasingly independent, have financial pressures whilst establishing themselves and change their diet and other habits. In 1998-99 a baseline study was conducted on a sample of Adelaide young adults 20-24 years using telephone interviews and oral examinations. Data was obtained on dental visiting patterns, socio-economic status, living arrangements, and health behaviours such as smoking and playing sport, as well as oral health. This study seeks to follow-up the sample of 1265 young adults who were interviewed in 1998-99 to ascertain any changes in oral health and utilisation of dental services. Data on socio-economic status, living arrangements and health behaviours will also be collected to determine whether any changes in those factors may explain changes in visiting behaviour and oral health. In addition participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire on satisfaction with dental care. Permission will be sought to gain access to participants School Dental Service records to determine whether any relationship exists between childhood visiting patterns and those in adulthood. This study will enable identification of the factors which affect oral health and dental utilisation in young adults to assist in the development of oral health promotion strategies to encourage timely, effective and appropriate dental service utilisation and preventive behaviours. To improve the oral health of Australians the maintenance of gains made in childhood is essential.

Funding Amount $AUD 58,190.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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