Population groups at high risk for poor oral self care: the basis for oral health promotion


Identification of population groups at high risk for poor oral self-care in adults was needed in order to enable more focused planning of oral health promotion actions in Slovenia. The study was based on the national health behaviour database in adults aged 25-64. Data collected in 2001 were used. The sample size was 15,379. The overall response rate was 64 %, and 8,392 questionnaires were eligible for oral self-care assessment. A complex indicator based on oral hygiene, frequency of visiting a dentist, and nutritional habits was derived. The outcome of interest was poor oral self-care. Logistic regression was used to test multivariate associations between several factors (gender, age, educational level, social class, etc.) and poor oral self-care. The overall prevalence of poor oral self-care was 6.9 %. The odds for this outcome were higher for men (ORmales vs. females = 7.49, p < 0.001), (or participants with the lowest educational levels (ORuncompleted primary vs. university = 5.95, p < 0.001; ORprimary vs. university = 4.95, p < 0.001), and for participants from the lowest social classes (ORlower vs. upper-middle = 6.20, p < 0.001; ORlabour vs. upper-middle = 4.05, p = 0.001). Special attention should be paid to oral health promotion for men, for those with low educational level, and for those belonging to the lowest social classes.


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