Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Oral Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Associations between Indigenous Australian oral health literacy and self-reported oral health outcomes

Eleanor J Parker* and Lisa M Jamieson

Author Affiliations

Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Oral Health 2010, 10:3  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-10-3

Published: 26 March 2010

Abstract

Objectives

To determine oral health literacy (REALD-30) and oral health literacy-related outcome associations, and to calculate if oral health literacy-related outcomes are risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health among rural-dwelling Indigenous Australians.

Methods

468 participants (aged 17-72 years, 63% female) completed a self-report questionnaire. REALD-30 and oral health literacy-related outcome associations were determined through bivariate analysis. Multivariate modelling was used to calculate risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health.

Results

REALD-30 scores were lower among those who believed teeth should be infrequently brushed, believed cordial was good for teeth, did not own a toothbrush or owned a toothbrush but brushed irregularly. Tooth removal risk indicators included being older, problem-based dental attendance and believing cordial was good for teeth. Poor self-rated oral health risk indicators included being older, healthcare card ownership, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance, believing teeth should be brushed infrequently and irregular brushing. Perceived need for dental care risk indicators included being female and problem-based dental attendance. Perceived gum disease risk indicators included being older and irregular brushing. Feeling uncomfortable about oro-facial appearance risk indicators included problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Food avoidance risk indicators were being female, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Poor oral health-related quality of life risk indicators included difficulty paying dental bills and problem-based dental attendance.

Conclusions

REALD-30 was significantly associated with oral health literacy-related outcomes. Oral health literacy-related outcomes were risk indicators for each of the poor self-reported oral health domains among this marginalised population.