Background: Literature showed that depression was strongly associated with poor oral health including dental caries and periodontitis. The aim of this study was to examine the association between depression status and patients’ intent for dental visit with perceived care needs in Korean adults.
Methods: A cross-sectional evaluation was conducted using Sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2014 data. The study identified information on general characteristics such as age, sex, type of health insurance, educational level, marital status, current depression status, and their intents to make dental visit with recognized care needs. The predictive factors for making “no-dental visit with care needs” were evaluated using logistic regression analysis.
Results: The study population comprised a total of 5,976 patients who were 19 years and older representing 40.7 million Koreans. A multivariable logistic regression analysis with weighted observations revealed that patients with current depression condition were about two times more likely to express their unwillingness to make a dental visit in spite of their perceived care needs (adjusted OR=2.097; 95% CI 1.046–4.203). The reasons for not making the dental visits were common regardless of the depression status, including financial problems, perceived importance of the dental problem, and fear to see dental professionals.
Conclusion: Findings from our study showed a positive association between depression status and unwillingness to make a dental visit. It is critical to identify patients with depression and strategically improve their access to dental services through collaborative efforts among physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, dentists, nurses and pharmacists.
This poster was presented at the 32nd annual Psych Congress, held Oct. 3-6, 2019, in San Diego, California.