Associations of social relationships with curative and preventive dental care use among young and middle-aged adults: Evidence from a population-based study in Japan

Keiko Murakami, Jun Aida, Hideki Hashimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Social relationships are important for diffusion of information and behaviours. Access to preventive dental care is more difficult than access to curative dental care under the Japanese universal healthcare system. Our objective was to examine whether social relationships were differentially associated with curative and preventive dental care use in Japan. Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted between 2010 and 2011 among residents aged 25-50 years in Japanese metropolitan areas. Valid responses were obtained from 1919 men and 2207 women. Social relationships included social networks (membership of organizations and number of close ties) and social support (informational support and instrumental support). Poisson regression analyses with robust variance estimators were conducted to examine associations between each social relationship variable and curative dental care use or preventive dental care use, adjusted for covariates. Results: While 38.4% of men and 42.0% of women used curative dental care, 22.9% of men and 32.5% of women used preventive dental care in the past year. No measures of social relationships were associated with curative dental care use among men and women, except the number of close ties among men. By contrast, all measures of social relationships were associated with preventive dental care use among men; the multivariate-adjusted prevalence ratios (95% confidence intervals) of the highest compared with the lowest level of social relationships were 1.58 (1.18-2.13) for membership of organizations, 1.58 (1.24-2.00) for the number of close ties, 1.41 (1.10-1.82) for informational support and 1.30 (1.01-1.68) for instrumental support. Among women, no measures of social relationships were associated with preventive dental care use. Conclusions: Social relationships were associated with preventive dental care use among men but not among women, while these were not associated with curative dental care use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Japan
  • curative dental care use
  • preventive dental care use
  • social networks
  • social relationships
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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