Maternal characteristics and treatment needs as predictors of dental health services utilization among Mexican school children.
Márquez Corona, María de Lourdes
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Objective: To determine whether maternal characteristics and treatment needs are associated with dental health services utilization (DHSU) in school children. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study in 1373 school children ages 6-12 years in elementary schools in Campeche, Mexico collected family and socio-demographic characteristics; an oral examination was conducted. The dependent variable was DHSU in the year preceding the study. Results: DHSU prevalence was 65.5%. The variables associated (p<0.05) with DHSU in the final multivariate model were age (OR=1.27), maternal schooling (OR=1.07), mother's attitude toward oral health (OR=1.39), frequency of tooth brushing (OR=1.83), enamel defects (OR=1.55), and unmet oral health needs (moderate: OR=1.42 and high: OR=2.30). Conclusions: Specific socio-demographic and maternal variables were associated with DHSU. Strategies are needed to increase appropriate and timely use of services to improve health status.