Factors associated with dental health care coverage in Mexico: findings from the National Performance Evaluation Survey 2000-2003
Medina Solís, Carlo Eduardo
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Objectives: To determine the level of dental health care coverage in people aged +-18 years across the country, and to identify the factors associated with coverage. Material and methods: Using the instruments and sampling strategies developed by the World Health Organization for the World Health Survey, a cross-sectional national survey was carried out at the household and individual (adult) levels. Dental data were collected in 20 of Mexicos 32 states. The relationship between coverage and environmental and individual characteristics was examined through logistic regression models. Results: Only 6098 of 24 159 individual respondents reported having oral problems during the preceding 12 months (accounting for 14 284 621 inhabitants of the country if weighted). Only 48% of respondents reporting problems were covered, although details of the appropriateness, timeliness and effectiveness of the intervention(s) were not assessed. The multivariate regression model showed that higher level of education, better socioeconomic status, having at least one chronic disease and having medical insurance were positively associated with better dental care coverage. Age and sex were also associated. Conclusions: Overall dental health care coverage could be improved, assuming that ideal coverage is 100%. Some equality of access issues are apparent because there are differences in coverage across populations in terms of wealth and social status. Identifying the factors associated with sparse coverage is a step in the right direction allowing policymakers to establish strategies aimed at increasing this coverage, focusing on more vulnerable groups and on individuals in greater need of preventive and rehabilitative interventions.