Gender-based differences in factors related to non-utilization of dental care in young Norwegians. A longitudinal study

Eur J Oral Sci. 2003 Oct;111(5):377-82. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0722.2003.00072.x.


The present study had the following aims: (i): to evaluate the utilization of dental care among young adults during the age period from 18 to 23 yr; and (ii) to explore possible characteristics at the age of 18 yr that may predict non-utilization of dental care at the age of 23 yr. Respondents from a random sample of adolescents that had been surveyed at the age of 18 yr (n = 968) were surveyed again at the age of 23 yr. The data were based on (1) baseline data collected at the age 18 yr, and (2) a questionnaire mailed to the same subjects at the age of 23 yr. The response rate was 69%. The time since the last dental appointment at the age of 23 yr was longer for men than for women. Of the 2% that had not been to the dentist for the last 5 yr or more, the majority were men (69%). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that the following characteristics at the age of 18 yr were predictive of being included in a non-utilization group (n = 45) at the age of 23 yr: multiple fears (odds ratio (OR) = 3.0), treatment at the age of 18 yr not completed (OR = 2.5), and high dental anxiety (OR = 2.0 for women and OR = 1.2 for men). These gender differences may influence future strategies for prevention of dropout from care and possible interventions aimed at bringing adolescents back to regular dental care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Norway
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Refusal / statistics & numerical data