ADRF RESEARCH REPORT
Self-reported oral health of a metropolitan homeless population in Australia: comparisons with population-level data
Article first published online: 28 AUG 2011
© 2011 Australian Dental Association
Australian Dental Journal
Volume 56, Issue 3, pages 272–277, September 2011
How to Cite
Parker, E., Jamieson, L., Steffens, M., Cathro, P. and Logan, R. (2011), Self-reported oral health of a metropolitan homeless population in Australia: comparisons with population-level data. Australian Dental Journal, 56: 272–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2011.01346.x
- Issue published online: 28 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 28 AUG 2011
- (Accepted for publication 23 December 2010.)
- Self-reported oral health;
- homeless adults
Background: There is limited information on self-perceived oral health of homeless populations. This study quantified self-reported oral health among a metropolitan homeless adult population and compared against a representative sample of the metropolitan adult population obtained from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health.
Methods: A total of 248 homeless participants (age range 17–78 years, 79% male) completed a self-report questionnaire. Data for an age-matched, representative sample of metropolitan-dwelling adults were obtained from Australia’s second National Survey of Adult Oral Health. Percentage responses and 95% confidence intervals were calculated, with non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals used to identify statistically significant differences between the two groups.
Results: Homeless adults reported poorer oral health than their age-matched general population counterparts. Twice as many homeless adults reported visiting a dentist more than a year ago and that their usual reason for dental attendance was for a dental problem. The proportion of homeless adults with a perceived need for fillings or extractions was also twice that of their age-matched general population counterparts. Three times as many homeless adults rated their oral health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.
Conclusions: A significantly greater proportion of homeless adults in an Australian metropolitan location reported poorer oral health compared with the general metropolitan adult population.