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Dental utilization among Hispanic adults in agricultural worker families in California's Central Valley.

Finlayson TL; Gansky SA; Shain SG; Weintraub JA
J Public Health Dent 2010 Sep; 70(4):292-299
OBJECTIVE: To examine past-year dental visits among underserved, Hispanic farm-worker families using the Andersen Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization, which posits that predisposing, enabling, and need factors influence care-seeking behavior. METHODS: Oral health survey and clinical data were collected in 2006-2007 from families in Mendota, California (Fresno County) as part of a larger, population-based study. Generalized estimating equation logit regression assessed effects of factors on having a dental visit among adults (N = 326). Predisposing variables included sociodemographic characteristics, days worked in agriculture, self-rated health status, and dental beliefs. Enabling factors included resources to obtain services (dental insurance, income, acculturation level, regular dental care source). Need measures included perceived need for care and reported symptoms, along with clinically determined untreated caries and bleeding on probing. RESULTS: Only 34% of adults had a past-year dental visit, despite 44% reporting a regular dental care source. Most (66%) lacked dental insurance, and nearly half (46%) had untreated caries. Most (86%) perceived having current needs, and on average, reported a mean of 4.2 dental symptoms (of 12 queried). Regression analyses indicated those with more symptoms were less likely to have a past-year dental visit. Those who would ask a dentist for advice and had a regular dental care source were more likely to have a past-year dental visit. CONCLUSIONS: The final model included predisposing, enabling, and need factors. Despite low utilization and prevalent symptoms, having a regular source of care helps break this pattern and should be facilitated.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Dental-disorders; Dental-health; Dentistry; Families; Farmers; Health-care; Health-surveys; Qualitative-analysis; Racial-factors; Statistical-analysis; Worker-health; Work-organization; Author Keywords: dental health services; Hispanic; agricultural workers
Tracy L. Finlayson PhD, Health Management and Policy, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4162
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007550; Grant-Number-R01-OH-009293
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Performing Organization
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: December 16, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division