Objectives: This study examines the predictors for elderly Chinese immigrants' use of dental care services.
Methods: In 2003, a study entitled "Health and Well Being of Older Chinese in Canada" collected data from seven cities in which 2,272 Chinese Canadians aged 55 years and older were surveyed. Data from 1,537 of these individuals were used to examine the use of dental care services by the elderly Chinese. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis was used to examine the predicting factors for use of dental care.
Results: More than half (52.1 percent) of the elder Chinese immigrants did not use any dental care services within the past year of the study. Being older, living in Quebec, and having poorer physical health reduced the probability that an older Chinese immigrant would use dental care services. On the other hand, being an immigrant from Hong Kong, having lived in Canada for a longer period of time, strong social support, and having dental problems increase the probability of dental service use.
Discussion: The findings support the need for considering the cultural characteristics and background of elderly Chinese immigrants when strengthening oral health promotion. This should encompass understanding of the holistic concept of health that includes oral health and its connections with other physical health issues.