Socio-economic differences in public opinion regarding water fluoridation in Queensland

Authors


Correspondence to:
Professor Kerry Mummery, Centre for Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland 4702. Fax: (07) 4930 6402; e-mail: k.mummery@cqu.edu.au

Abstract

Objective: To describe public opinion relating to the fluoridation of drinking water in a sample of the Queensland population.

Method: Data were collected by means of a computer-assisted telephone interview survey from a sample of the Queensland population. Descriptive statistics and logistical regression were used to examine associations between variables.

Results: Seventy per cent of the total sample supported water fluoridation of their local supply. More than 71% of the total sample agreed that water fluoridation was safe. People living in areas of higher socio-economic/relative socio-economic advantage were more likely to support the addition of fluoride to local drinking water and agree that it was safe. Opinions about fluoridation varied by respondent age and gender.

Conclusions: General support was found in this sample of the Queensland population for fluoridation of drinking water.

Implications: In Queensland, fluoridation of the water supply is now a political decision. Information about public opinion on fluoridation may assist decision makers in the final determination.

Ancillary