Comparison of the oral health and self-rated general health status of undergraduate students in Taiwan and Japan

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Abstract

Background/purpose: Scores of the Oral Salutogenic Score (OSS) and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-20 (MOS SF-20) of university students in Taiwan and Japan were determined to compare the oral and general health status of students in these 2 countries. Materials and methods: The oral health of students enrolled in 1 national university and 1 private university from each country were examined by trained dentists. Student ages ranged 18-25 years with 674 (371 males and 303 females) from Taiwan and 1117 (506 males and 611 females) from Japan. For convenience, 1 national university and 1 private university from each country were chosen, and students not majoring in oral health were investigated using a self-administered questionnaire filled out by all students. The questionnaires consisted of the MOS SF-20 and OSS. The students' oral-health conditions were examined by 10 dentists in Taiwan and Japan after undergoing training on private university students in each country. Results: As to questions concerning general health, 20% of Japanese university students answered "excellent" compared to only 5-10% of Taiwanese university students. Values of the decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth (DMFT) index were 4.8 and 5.0 for male and female Japanese students, and 5.9 and 8.0 for Taiwanese ones. Values of the DMFT index of the first permanent molar were 2.1 and 2.3 for male and female Japanese students, which were lower than those of Taiwanese (2.3 and 2.9, respectively) (adjusted odds ratio: 13.1; 95% confidence interval: 3.9-44.3). The proportion of Taiwanese students with swollen gums was higher than that of Japanese students (adjusted odds ratio: 5.3; 95% confidence interval: 4.1-6.7). The proportion of Taiwanese students who had access to a family dentist was lower than for Japanese students (adjusted odds ratio: 5.3; 95% confidence interval: 4.1-6.7). Indices of health perception on the MOS for Taiwanese (51.8-58.2%) were lower than those of Japanese students (69.3-72.3%). The Japanese student's physical functioning, social functioning, health perceptions, and pain scores were significantly better than those of Taiwanese students (P < 0.001). The Taiwanese student's mental health score was significantly higher than that of Japanese students (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The status of oral and general health of Taiwan students was worse than that of their Japanese counterparts. This might have been due to differences in regularity of visiting family dental services, health perceptions, public oral-health policies, preventive strategies during early life stages, and health perceptions of students. Copyright © 2010, Association for Dental Sciences of the Republic of China. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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Chang, C. S., Chang, F. M., Nakagaki, H., Morita, I., Tsuboi, S., Sakakibara, Y., … Robinson, C. (2010). Comparison of the oral health and self-rated general health status of undergraduate students in Taiwan and Japan. Journal of Dental Sciences, 5(4), 221–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jds.2010.11.006

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