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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1882-1894; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051882
Article

Pure and Social Disparities in Distribution of Dentists: A Cross-Sectional Province-Based Study in Iran

1,2,3,* , 4
, 5
 and 1,3,6
1 Division of Health Economics, Department of Clinical Sciences-Malmö, Lund University, Malmö 20502, Sweden 2 Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 141556447, Iran 3 Health Economics & Management, Institute of Economic Research, Lund University, Lund 22007, Sweden 4 Health Insurance Office, Ministry of Cooperatives-Labor and Social Welfare, Tehran 1457994861, Iran 5 Institute for Global Health, University College London, London WC1N 1EH, UK 6 Department of Economics, Lund University, Lund 22363, Sweden
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 24 April 2013 / Published: 6 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
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Abstract

During past decades, the number of dentists has continuously increased in Iran. Beside the quantity, the distribution of dentists affects the oral health status of population. The current study aimed to assess the pure and social disparities in distribution of dentists across the provinces in Iran in 2009. Data on provinces’ characteristics, including population and social situation, were obtained from multiple sources. The disparity measures (including Gini coefficient, index of dissimilarity, Gaswirth index of disparity and relative index of inequality (RII)) and pairwise correlations were used to evaluate the pure and social disparities in the number of dentists in Iran. On average, there were 28 dentists per 100,000 population in the country. There were substantial pure disparities in the distribution of dentists across the provinces in Iran. The unadjusted and adjusted RII values were 3.82 and 2.13, respectively; indicating area social disparity in favor of people in better-off provinces. There were strong positive correlations between density of dentists and better social rank. It is suggested that the results of this study should be considered in conducting plans for redistribution of dentists in the country. In addition, further analyses are needed to explain these disparities.
Keywords: dentists; disparity; Gaswirth index of disparity; relative index of inequality; ecological; Iran dentists; disparity; Gaswirth index of disparity; relative index of inequality; ecological; Iran
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kiadaliri, A.A.; Hosseinpour, R.; Haghparast-Bidgoli, H.; Gerdtham, U.-G. Pure and Social Disparities in Distribution of Dentists: A Cross-Sectional Province-Based Study in Iran. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1882-1894.

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