Attitudes toward dentists and the dental care system among the middle‐aged and the elderly in Hong Kong

Edward C.M. Lo, Eli Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Abstract A sample of 398 35–44‐yr‐old and 559 65–74‐yr‐old Hong Kong Chinese were interviewed by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire in an oral health survey conducted in 1991. The present analysis aimed to describe the dental‐care‐seeking behaviour and attitudes of these subjects. It was found that 43% of the younger and 23% of the older age group had visited a dentist within the past year. More than half of the elderly and a quarter of the adults had not been to a dentist for 3 yr or more, and the main reason given by these subjects was that they felt that nothing was wrong. The vast majority of the subjects consulted a dentist only when they had toothache or other dental problems. Less than 20% of the 35–44‐yr‐olds visited a dentist for a check‐up or teeth cleaning, and these subjects were described as having a prevention‐oriented attitude toward oral care. The result of a logistic regression analysis showed that there was a higher chance for subjects to have this attitude if they had dental programme coverage, perceived their teeth to be good, had better dental health knowledge, had a more positive dental attitude, and were less anxious about dental care. However, the influence of these factors was quite weak, because the overall percentage of correct classification of the model was 83.7% and the sensitivity was only 23.3%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-373
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity dentistry and oral epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • aged
  • dental health surveys: dental care
  • dentists
  • knowledge, attitudes, practices
  • logistic models
  • utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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