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Preventable hospital admissions for oral health-related conditions in Australia: a descriptive analysis


Crocombe, LA and Allen, P and Khan, S and Godwin, D and Bettiol, S and Barnett, T and Hoang, H and Goldberg, L, Preventable hospital admissions for oral health-related conditions in Australia: a descriptive analysis, Australian Journal of Rural Health ISSN 1038-5282 (In Press) [Refereed Article]


Introduction: This study describes the characteristics of hospital admissions for oral health-related conditions data nation-wide for the five years 2010-11 to 2014-15.

Methods: Hospital admission data were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for every hospitalisation for an oral health-related condition from 2010/11 to 2014/15. The data were analysed by age, residential area, length of stay, reason for hospitalisation and funding source. Rates per 1,000 population were calculated using Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population data and a join-point regression was used to investigate whether there was a trend in admission rates over the five year period.

Results: There were 316,937 hospital admissions for oral health-related conditions over the five-year period. The annual rate of admissions ranged from 2.71 (95% CI 2.69, 2.73) to 2.81 (95% CI 2.79, 2.83) per 1,000 population, with no significant difference in average annual percent change over the five year period (p = 0.4). Almost all admissions (93.8%) had a stay of one day or less. One third (33.3%) were under 10 years of age and 43.4% were under the age of 20 years. The majority of admissions were among patients residing in major cities (64.9%). The most common reason for admission was dental caries (52.6%), followed by other disorders of teeth and supporting structures (18.5%) and diseases of pulp and periapical tissues (14.0%). Nearly all patients (93.8%) were discharged on the same day as admission. Hospital admissions for oral-health related conditions were most common among children aged 5-9 years, ranging from 17.67 (95% CI 17.38, 17.97) per 1,000 population in 2013-2014 to 18.65 (95% CI 18.34, 18.96) per 1,000 population in 2011-2012, followed by children aged 0-4 years, ranging from 9.03 (95% CI 8.82, 9.24) per 1,000 population in 2013-2014 to 10.42 (95% CI 10.19, 10.65) per 1,000 population in 2010-2011.

Conclusions: Children and adolescents were more likely than adults of any age group to be hospitalised for a potentially preventable oral health-related cause, particularly dental caries. Over three-quarters of the hospitalised children were under the age of ten years.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:preventable hospital admissions, oral health, dental services, access to dental care
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Dental Health
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
UTAS Author:Allen, P (Dr Penny Allen)
UTAS Author:Khan, S (Dr Shahrukh Khan)
UTAS Author:Godwin, D (Mrs Diana Godwin)
UTAS Author:Bettiol, S (Dr Silvana Bettiol)
UTAS Author:Barnett, T (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Goldberg, L (Associate Professor Lyn Goldberg)
ID Code:134003
Year Published:In Press
Deposited By:Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-07-19
Last Modified:2019-08-23

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