The association between area level socio-economic position and oral health-related quality of life in the South African adult population
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|The objective of this study was to investigate the association between area-level socio-economic position (SEP) and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). Data collected from a nationally representative sample of the South African population of 16 years and older included demographics, individual-level SEP measures and self-reported oral health status. OHRQoL was measured using the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14). The General Household Survey (n=25,653 households) and Quarterly Labour Force Surveys (n~30,000 households/
quarter) were used to determine area-level SEP. Data analysis included a random-effect negative binomial regression model and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis. Area-level deprivation was associated with more negative oral impacts, independent of an individual's SEP. Other significant predictors of oral impacts included having experienced oral pain and reporting previous dental visits. Area differences in dental attendance
contributed the most (37.5%) to the observed gap in OHRQoL, explained by differences in area-level SEP,
whereas individual-level SEP contributed the least (18.8%). In the more affluent areas, satisfaction with life in general and individuals' SEP were significantly positively associated with OHRQoL.