The utility of survey and administrative data to generate information for research and outcomes-based oral health services development

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Guiney, Helena
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University College Cork
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The aim of this research, which focused on the Irish adult population, was to generate information for policymakers by applying statistical analyses and current technologies to oral health administrative and survey databases. Objectives included identifying socio-demographic influences on oral health and utilisation of dental services, comparing epidemiologically-estimated dental treatment need with treatment provided, and investigating the potential of a dental administrative database to provide information on utilisation of services and the volume and types of treatment provided over time. Information was extracted from the claims databases for the Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme (DTBS) for employed adults and the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) for less-well-off adults, the National Surveys of Adult Oral Health, and the 2007 Survey of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition in Ireland. Factors associated with utilisation and retention of natural teeth were analysed using count data models and logistic regression. The chi-square test and the student’s t-test were used to compare epidemiologically-estimated need in a representative sample of adults with treatment provided. Differences were found in dental care utilisation and tooth retention by Socio-Economic Status. An analysis of the five-year utilisation behaviour of a 2003 cohort of DTBS dental attendees revealed that age and being female were positively associated with visiting annually and number of treatments. Number of adults using the DTBS increased, and mean number of treatments per patient decreased, between 1997 and 2008. As a percentage of overall treatments, restorations, dentures, and extractions decreased, while prophylaxis increased. Differences were found between epidemiologically-estimated treatment need and treatment provided for those using the DTBS and DTSS. This research confirms the utility of survey and administrative data to generate knowledge for policymakers. Public administrative databases have not been designed for research purposes, but they have the potential to provide a wealth of knowledge on treatments provided and utilisation patterns.
Administrative data , Survey data , Health services research , Data mining , Dental treatments , Utilisation of dental services , Dental health , Socioeconomic status , Treatment provided , Mean number of teeth , Tooth retention , Dental attendance , Sound untreated natural teeth , Brushing , Frequent snacking , Need for dental treatment
Guiney, H. 2013. The utility of survey and administrative data to generate information for research and outcomes-based oral health services development. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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