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Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Self-Rated Oral Health in South Africa: A Multilevel Effects Model
School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Department of Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2012; in revised form: 17 September 2012 / Accepted: 25 September 2012 / Published: 2 October 2012
Abstract: Aim: This study examined the influence of the social context in which people live on self-ratings of their oral health. Method: This study involved a representative sample of 2,907 South African adults (≥16 years) who participated in the 2007 South African Social Attitude Survey (SASAS). We used the 2005 General Household Survey (n = 107,987 persons from 28,129 households) to obtain living environment characteristics of SASAS participants, including sources of water and energy, and household cell-phone ownership (a proxy measure for the social network available to them). Information obtained from SASAS included socio-demographic data, respondents’ level of trust in people, oral health behaviors and self-rated oral health. Results: Of the respondents, 76.3% self-rated their oral health as good. Social context influenced women’s self-rated oral health differently from that of men. Good self-rated oral health was significantly higher among non-smokers, employed respondents and women living in areas with higher household cell-phone ownership. Furthermore, trust and higher social position were associated with good self-rated oral health among men and women respectively. Overall, 55.1% and 18.3% of the variance in self-rated oral health were explained by factors operating at the individual and community levels respectively. Conclusion: The findings highlight the potential role of social capital in improving the population’s oral health.
Keywords: self-rated oral health; social capital; mixed-effects model; cell-phone ownership; trust; South Africa
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Olutola, B.G.; Ayo-Yusuf, O.A. Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Self-Rated Oral Health in South Africa: A Multilevel Effects Model. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3465-3483.
Olutola BG, Ayo-Yusuf OA. Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Self-Rated Oral Health in South Africa: A Multilevel Effects Model. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(10):3465-3483.
Olutola, Bukola G.; Ayo-Yusuf, Olalekan A. 2012. "Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Self-Rated Oral Health in South Africa: A Multilevel Effects Model." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 10: 3465-3483.