Stage of Change constructs may be proxy markers of psychosocial health which, in turn, are related to oral health. Objective: To determine if Stage of Change constructs were associated with subjective oral health in a population at heightened risk of dental disease. Methods: Stage of Change constructs were developed from a validated 18-item scale and categorised into ‘Pre-contemplative’, ‘Contemplative’ and ‘Active’. A convenience sample of 446 Australian non-Aboriginal women pregnant by an Aboriginal male (age range 14–43 years) provided data to evaluate the outcome variables (self-rated oral health and oral health impairment), the Stage of Change constructs and socio-demographic, behavioural and access-related factors. Factors significant at the p<0.05 level in bivariate analysis were entered into prevalence regression models. Results: Approximately 54% of participants had fair/poor self-rated oral health and 34% had oral health impairment. Around 12% were ‘Pre-contemplative’, 46% ‘Contemplative’ and 42% ‘Active’. Being either ‘pre-contemplative’ or ‘contemplative’ was associated with poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for socio-demographic factors. ‘Pre-contemplative’ ceased being significant after adjusting for dentate status and dental behaviour. ‘Pre-contemplative’ remained significant when adjusting for dental cost, but not ‘Contemplative’. The Stages of Change constructs ceased being associated with self-rated oral health after adjusting for all confounders. Only ‘Contemplative’ (reference: ‘Active’) was a risk indicator in the null model for oral health impairment which persisted after adding dentate status, dental behaviour and dental cost variables, but not socio-demographics. When adjusting for all confounders, ‘Contemplative’ was not a risk indicator for oral health impairment. Conclusions: Both the ‘Pre-contemplative’ and ‘Contemplative’ Stage of Change constructs were associated with poor self-rated oral health and oral health impairment after adjusting for some, but not all, covariates. When considered as a proxy marker of psychosocial health, Stage of Change constructs may have some relevance for subjective oral health.
- Oral health
- Stage of change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health