Few high-quality epidemiological surveys of oral health have been conducted in developing countries. A National Oral Health Survey of Vietnam was previously conducted in 1989.
Objective: To conduct a Second National Oral Health Survey to facilitate planning of preventive and treatment programmes and the dental workforce in Vietnam.
Design: The 1999 survey utilised a multistage stratified random sampling strategy to obtain a random sample of the Vietnamese population. The population was stratified by province, urban/rural location and age in order to ensure adequate representation. Participants were clustered into schools (children) or communes (adults). Data were collected through a social survey, and dental examinations were conducted by calibrated examiners.
Results: High percentages of the target samples in each stratum were obtained. Inter-examiner and intra-examiner reliability were good to high (kappa: 0.48-0.98). All data were weighted to adjust for the probabilities of selection and known biases to provide unbiased estimates at provincial and national level.
Conclusion: The National Oral Health Survey of Vietnam was a high-quality epidemiological survey with high participation rates. This was made possible through strong support from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and regional and local officials.