Oral health perception in veterans with self-identified disabilities: National Survey of Veterans, 2010


R C. Wiener

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Background—This study examines the relationship of self-identified disability and oral health perception in a veteran population. Methods—The National Survey of Veterans, 2010, data base was used to conduct a crosssectional study of 8303 participants. Questionnaires were mailed to the veterans and the questions were developed to assess sociodemographic information, health perception and health status, among other areas of interest. The Andersen Behavioral Model was used as the framework for the study. The outcome of interest was perceived oral health and the main variable of interest was self-identified disability. The data were analyzed for descriptive, and bivariate analyses, and logistic regression. Results—There were 1904 participants (21.2%) with self-identified disability. There were 2505 participants (41.0%) who indicated negative oral health perception. In logistic regression, individuals with self-identified disability had an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.63 (95% CI 1.44, 1.85) and an adjusted odds ratio of 1.69 (95% CI: 1.44, 1.99) for negative oral health perception as compared with participants who did not self-identify disability. Conclusion—Oral health perception in a veteran population is affected by predisposing and enabling factors among which is self-identified disability.