Explaining oral health-related quality of life with work-related factors

This study examined the extent to which oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) was explained by work-related factors. Subjects were dentate adults in paid employment (n=2,376; mean age=38.0 years) who completed the 1999 National Dental Telephone Interview Survey (response = 56.6%) and follow-up mail survey (response = 64.6%). The dependent variable for OHRQoL was the mean scale score on the short-form Oral Health Impact Profile that measures the impact of oral conditions on physical, psychological, and social well-being. Explanatory variables were sociodemographic characteristics, social position indicators and a selection of work-related factors. Bivariate analysis (ANOVA) revealed significantly higher impact in females, older adults, the overseas-born, and workers in lower socioeconomic positions. Similarly, part-time workers and those experiencing job insecurity, skill obsolescence, low control, and high work-home conflict reported greater impact. In hierarchical multiple linear regression models, adjusted R Square statistics revealed that 18.0% of the variance was explained for the manager/administrator and professional group (n=802), 15.9% for the intermediate group (n=1,015), and 24.8% for workers in manual occupations (n=257). Psychosocial factors accounted for the greatest proportion of variance explained in the two non-manual groups (11.4% and 10.8% respectively) but were considerably less important to manual workers, accounting for only 0.4% of the variance explained. Interventions that improve the psychosocial work environment are likely to improve OHRQoL for workers in non-manual occupations. Strategies to improve OHRQoL for manual workers need to target factors related to underlying social disadvantage.

Sanders AE*, Spencer AJ

Presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the IADR (ANZ Division), 28 September – 1 October 2002, Sydney, Australia

Note: * indicates presenter

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