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Tanzania Journal of Health Research
Health User's Trust Fund (HRUTF)
ISSN: 1821-6404
Vol. 14, No. 3, 2012, pp. 1-11
Bioline Code: th12030
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2012, pp. 1-11

 en Socio-demographic and behavioural correlates of oral health related quality of life among Tanzanian adults: a national pathfinder survey


In response to the growing recognition of quality of life measurement in health care, indicators that address the social and psychological consequences of oral disorders have been developed to complement conventional clinical assessment. The objective of this study was to determine sociodemographic and behavioural correlates of oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) among Tanzanian adults. The national pathfinder survey methodology described in the WHO Oral Health Surveys – Basic Methods was used to obtain a total of 1,759 Tanzanian adults aged 18 years and above. In line with the pathfinder methodology clusters were purposively selected to represent cities, towns and rural areas. In each cluster individuals were stratified by age and sex. The outcome variable was the OHRQoL in terms of oral impacts on daily performances (OIDP). Frequency distribution, bivariate analyses, and generalized linear models using log binomial regression models were performed by SPSS version 15. About half (49.1%) of the respondents reported at least one oral impact during a period of three months before the survey. Difficulty in chewing was the most prevalent impact affecting 39.9% of participants. A higher proportion of those who reported poor conditions of teeth had difficulties in chewing and sleeping was often interrupted. Multivariate analysis indicated that those who perceived their teeth conditions to be good (PR=0.38; CI: 0.32-0.44), were of younger age (PR=0.84; CI: 0.77-0.90), and had visited a dentist during the past five years or more (PR=0.84; CI: 0.77-0.90) and were less likely to have an oral impact. On the other hand those who restricted their sugar consumption (PR=1.12; CI: 1.03- 0.1.22) were more likely to have an impact on at least one daily performance. It is concluded that the prevalence of OIDP was high while perceived teeth conditions and age varied with OHRQoL in terms of OIDP in the expected direction. Those who visited the dental clinic in the recent past had more impacts than those who did not. The findings of this study confirm the usefulness of subjective indicators in explaining peoples’ suffering. In this regard it is recommended that in the next national pathfinder survey traditional clinical oral health indicators should be complemented with subjective indicators in order to obtain triangulated data for planning oral health services in Tanzania.

Oral health; behaviour; oral impact; quality of life; Tanzania

© Copyright 2012 - Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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