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Open AccessArticle

Association of Oral Health Literacy and Dental Visitation in an Inner-City Emergency Department Population

1
Center for Health Outcomes Research, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63104, USA
2
Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081748
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
To examine the association between oral health literacy (OHL) with sociodemographic variables and dental visitation in adults presenting to an urban emergency department (ED). Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of 556 adults aged 18–90. Interview data from the study were used to collect self-reported sociodemographic characteristics and dental visitation history. The OHL of the study participants was measured using the Health Literacy in Dentistry scale (HeLD-14), and the score was dichotomized into low and high OHL. Bivariate associations between sociodemographic variables and OHL were conducted using chi-square tests, and logistic regression was used to examine the association between OHL and dental visitation within the past year. Results: Sixty percent of participants reported having visited a dentist within the past year. Over two-thirds of the sample was classified as having low OHL. Low OHL was more common in non-White races, less-educated, single, unemployed, and lower-income individuals, and those without a primary care physician or dental insurance (p < 0.05). Patients with low oral health literacy were 39% less likely to have visited the dentist in the past year (OR = 0.61; 95% CI 0.38, 0.96). Conclusions: This study highlights significant disparities in OHL. Interventions targeted toward the unique needs of underserved populations should be developed to improve health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: oral health literacy; emergency medicine; oral health; public health oral health literacy; emergency medicine; oral health; public health
MDPI and ACS Style

Henderson, E.; Dalawari, P.; Fitzgerald, J.; Hinyard, L. Association of Oral Health Literacy and Dental Visitation in an Inner-City Emergency Department Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1748.

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