Emergency care among adult public dental patients in Australia

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Emergency care among adult public dental patients in Australia

  1. 1. AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit Research Report No. 27 Emergency care among adult public dental patients in AustraliaT his report provides information on the use of emergency dental care among Emergency care by age of patient adult public dental patients during2001–02. Persons eligible for public dental The percentage of patients visiting for emergencycare generally are holders of government care within age groups is presented in Figure 1.health cards, such as the unemployed and There was a consistent pattern of emergency care by age, with higher percentages of emergencyaged pensioners. These cardholders are a care among younger age groups of patients.financially disadvantaged group of adults Further analyses will present emergency care bywithin the Australian population. sociodemographic characteristics and oral health status stratified by age of patient.In this report the pattern of emergencydental care among adult public Figure 1: Emergency care by age of patientdental patients is investigated bysociodemographic characteristics and oral Per cent visiting for emergency carehealth status. Data are based on a total of 805,243 dental patients who were examined by 70the dental authorities in six states/territories 60of Australia, providing a representative 50sample of the public dental patients theytreated during the 2001–02 period. 40 30 20Age distribution of patients 10 0Data presented in this publication were sourced 18–24 18-24 24–44 25-44 45–64 45-64 65+ 65+ **Age of patient (years)from the Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02. ** ( P<0.01)The age distribution of patients by use of Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02emergency care is presented in Table 1.Table 1: Age distribution of patients (%) by use of emergency care Emergency care by sex of patient Emergency care General care The percentage of patients visiting for emergency Age group 18–24 years 10.3 4.3 care by sex and age of patient is presented in 25–44 years 36.3 27.1 Figure 2. Male and female patients exhibited 45–64 years 48.0 33.3 similar patterns of emergency care by age, with 65+ years 44.3 35.4 higher percentages of emergency care among younger age groups of both male and female patients.The age distributions for both emergency andgeneral care patients showed high percentages of However, male patients tended to have higherpatients aged 45 years and older. However, percentages of emergency care within three of theemergency patients had a younger age four age groups, with significantly higherdistribution, with higher percentages aged 18–24 percentages of emergency care observed among(10.3%) and 25–44 (36.3) years, than general male patients aged 25–44 years and 65+ yearspatients (4.3% and 27.1% respectively). compared to female patients. 1
  2. 2. DSRU Research Report No. 27Figure 2: Emergency care by sex and age of were born overseas had a higher percentage of patient emergency care than Australian-born patients. Per cent visiting for emergency care 80 Emergency care by language spoken Male Female 70 60 Emergency care by language spoken and age of 50 patient is presented in Figure 4. Those who spoke only English showed a pattern of higher 40 percentages of emergency care among younger 30 patients, while those who spoke languages other 20 than English showed a pattern of higher 10 percentages of emergency care among older 0 NS18–24 18-24 25-44 NS45–64 45-64 65+ patients. As a result, those who spoke only **24–44 **65+ Age of patient (years) English had significantly higher percentages of **(P<0.01), NS (not significant) emergency care in the age groups 18–24 and Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 25–44 years, while those who spoke languages other than English had higher percentages of emergency care among patients aged 65 years orEmergency care by place of birth more.The percentage of patients visiting for emergency Figure 4: Emergency care by language spokencare by place of birth and age of patient is and age of patientpresented in Figure 3. While Australian-born Per cent visiting for emergency carepatients exhibited a pattern of higher percentages 80of emergency care among younger patients, there 70 Only English Other languageswas little variation in emergency care by age 60among overseas-born patients. 50Figure 3: Emergency care by place of birth and 40 age of patient 30 20 Per cent visiting for emergency care 10 80 Australia Overseas 0 70 NS45–64 18-24 **18–24 25-44 **24–44 45-64 65+ **65+ 60 Age of patient (years) **(P<0.01), NS (not significant) 50 Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 40 30 Emergency care by Indigenous status 20 10 Emergency care by Indigenous status and age of 0 patient is presented in Figure 5. Indigenous and 18-24 **18–24 25-44 **24–44 NS45–64 45-64 65+ **65+ Age of patient (years) non-Indigenous patients exhibited similar **(P<0.01), NS (not significant) patterns of emergency care by age, with higher Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 percentages of emergency care among younger age groups of patients.The contrasting age patterns of emergency careby place of birth resulted in Australian-born However, Indigenous patients tended to havepatients having significantly higher percentages higher percentages of emergency care thanof emergency care among younger patients aged non-Indigenous patients within age groups of18–24 and 25–44 years. There was no difference in patients, with the exception of those agedthe percentage of emergency care by place of 65 years or more. A significantly higherbirth among 45–64-year-old patients. However, percentage of emergency care was observedamong patients aged 65 years or more, those who among Indigenous patients aged 25–44 years compared to non-Indigenous patients. 2
  3. 3. DSRU Research Report No. 27Figure 5: Emergency care by Indigenous status Higher percentages of emergency care were and age of patient observed for patients with decayed teeth in each age group compared to those with no decay. Per cent visiting for emergency care 80 Figure 7: Emergency care by number of decayed Indigenous Non-Indigenous teeth and age of patient 70 60 Per cent visiting for emergency care 80 50 1+ decayed teeth No decayed teeth 40 70 30 60 20 50 10 40 0 30 NS18–24 18-24 25-44 **24–44 NS45–64 45-64 NS65+ 65+ Age of patient (years) 20 **(P<0.01), NS (not significant) 10 Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 0 18-24 *18–24 25-44 **24–44 45-64 **45–64 65+ **65+Emergency care by location * ( P<0.05); **(P<0.01) Age of patient (years) Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02Emergency care by geographic location and ageof patient is presented in Figure 6. Patients at Emergency care by periodontal statusboth major city and other locations exhibitedsimilar patterns of emergency care by age, with Emergency care by the presence of periodontalhigher percentages of emergency care among pockets of 6+ mm and age of patient is presentedyounger age groups of patients. No significant in Figure 8. Patients with and without 6+ mmdifferences were found by geographic location. pockets exhibited similar patterns of emergencyFigure 6: Emergency care by geographic location care by age, with higher percentages of and age of patient emergency care among younger age groups of patients. Per cent visiting for emergency care 80 Major city Other locations However, patients with periodontal pockets of 70 6+ mm had higher percentages of emergency care 60 compared to patients without periodontal 50 pockets of 6+ mm in the age groups 25–44 years 40 and 45–64 years. 30 20 Figure 8: Emergency care by presence of 6+ mm 10 periodontal pockets and age of patient 0 NS18–24 18-24 NS25-44 NS45–64 NS65+ Per cent visiting for emergency care 24–44 45-64 65+ Age of patient (years) 80 6+ mm pockets No 6+ mm pockets NS (not significant) 70 Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 60 50Emergency care by decayed teeth 40 30Emergency care by decayed teeth and age of 20patient is presented in Figure 7. Patients with andwithout decayed teeth exhibited similar patterns 10of emergency care by age, with higher 0 18-24 18–24 25-44 **24–44 45-64 **45–64 NS65+ 65+percentages of emergency care among younger Age of patient (years)age groups of patients. ** ( P<0.01); NS (not significant) Note: Data not presented for those with 6+ mm pockets among 18–24-year-old patients due to small cell sizes. Source: Adult Dental Programs Survey 2001–02 3
  4. 4. DSRU Research Report No. 27Adult Dental Programs Survey ReferencesThe Adult Dental Programs Survey is based on a Brennan DS & Spencer AJ 1997. Prospective Adultrandom sample of patients attending for public- Dental Programs Survey, 1995–96. Adelaide: DSRU.funded dental care. Dentists assessed oral health NIDR 1987. Oral health of United States adults. USA:at the initial visit of a course of care using written US Department of Health and Human Services,instructions, but there was no formal calibration. National Institutes of Health.Caries experience was recorded using visual and WHO 1997. Oral health surveys: basic methods.tactile information (NIDR 1987). The Community Fourth edition. Geneva: WHO.Periodontal Index (WHO 1997) was recordedusing a periodontal probe to measure pocket Summarydepth and detect subgingival calculus orbleeding. Emergency care was defined on the • Overall, younger age groups of patients hadbasis of relief of pain. Patients’ declared higher percentages of emergency care.birthplace was coded as ‘Australia’ or ‘Overseas’.Whether a language other than English was • Male patients aged 25–44 and 65+ years hadspoken at home was coded as ‘English’ if English higher percentages of emergency carewas the only language spoken at home or ‘Other’ compared to female patients.if another language was spoken. • Percentages of emergency care were higher forData were weighted by the number of persons Australian-born patients aged 18–24 and 25–44whose last dental visit was public-funded in the years, and overseas-born patients agedlast year for 18+-year-olds from the National 65+ years.Dental Telephone Interview Survey to providerepresentative estimates for adults receiving • Indigenous patients aged 25–44 years had apublic dental care by state/territory. higher percentage of emergency care compared to non-Indigenous patients.Scope of data • Higher percentages of emergency care wereThis report is based on data collected by the observed for patients with decayed teethdental authorities in New South Wales, Victoria, compared to those with no decay.Queensland, Western Australia, South Australiaand the Northern Territory. • Patients with periodontal pockets of 6+ mm had higher percentages of emergency care thanSample size estimates were based on measures of patients without periodontal pockets of 6+ mmoral health status from the 1995–96 Adult DentalPrograms Survey (Brennan & Spencer 1997) to in the age groups 25–44 and 45–64 years.achieve estimates of key outcomes with a © AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit, March 2006precision of 20% relative standard error or less. AIHW Catalogue No. DEN 153The total sample yield exceeded the target, ISSN 1445-7441 (Print) ISSN 1445-775X (Online)thereby providing a sufficient sample size toachieve the desired level of precision. Further information can be obtained from Dr David Brennan by email david.brennan@adelaide.edu.au, or phone (08) 8303 4046.Estimates based on users of dental services are bydefinition restricted to those persons who were The AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit (DSRU) is aable to access dental care during the survey collaborating unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,period, and therefore may not necessarily be established in 1988 at The University of Adelaide and located inrepresentative of the population eligible for the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Healthpublic dental services who did not access dental (ARCPOH), School of Dentistry, The University of Adelaide. DSRUcare during this period. aims to improve the oral health of Australians through the collection, analysis and reporting of information on oral health and access to dental care, the practice of dentistry and the dentalAcknowledgements labour force in Australia.The Population Health Division of the Australian Published by: AIHW Dental Statistics and Email: aihw.dsru@adelaide.edu.auGovernment Department of Health and Ageing Phone: 61 8/(08) 8303 4051 Research Unitassisted this research. The data were collected in ARCPOH, School of Dentistry Fax: 61 8/(08) 8303 3070collaboration with participating state/territory The University of Adelaide www.arcpoh.adelaide.edu.au SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5005dental authorities. 4

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