Australian opinions on water fluoridation: do Queenslanders believe differently?

Harry F. Akers, Jason Armfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To test whether residents of Queensland differ from residents elsewhere in Australia with respect to support for water fluoridation.

METHODS: Questionnaire data were obtained from an Australia-wide sample of 517 adults. The study occurred in 2008, shortly after the state government mandated fluoridation across Queensland.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in fluoridation support or in beliefs regarding the benefits and harms of fluoridation between Queensland and non-Queensland residents. However, respondents from Queensland were more resistant to changing their minds regarding their fluoridation stance, more distrusting of public health officials, and more supportive of decisions to introduce fluoridation being made by the people via a referendum. After controlling for potentially confounding variables, Queenslanders demonstrated significantly more support for water fluoridation than non-Queenslanders.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived Queensland characteristics, which political scientists have used to explain aberrant political behavior or public policy, were not relevant to the longstanding pre-2009 disparity in water fluoridation coverage between Queensland and the rest of Australia. The findings of this investigation do not support the assumption that Queenslanders are more opposed to fluoridation than residents elsewhere in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of investigative and clinical dentistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Queensland
  • belief
  • cultural trait
  • support
  • water fluoridation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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