Psychological Distress, Dental Health, and Dental Fear among Finnish University Students: A National Survey
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 2021, 18, 10245. 10.3390/ijerph181910245
The aim of this study was to study the association between dental fear, psychological distress, and perceived symptoms of teeth controlled for age, gender, educational sector, and tobacco use. The data from the Finnish University Student Health Survey 2016 targeting students (n = 10,000) of academic universities and universities of applied sciences were used. Psychological distress was measured with the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation 10 (CORE-10) and the General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ-12) and dental fear with the question ‘Do you feel scared about receiving dental care?’. The study included 3110 students. In logistic regression analyses those with psychological distress (measured with CORE-10 and GHQ-12) and those reporting teeth-related symptoms were more likely than their counterparts to have high dental fear. In gender-specific analyses men with psychological distress (measured with CORE-10) and women with teeth-related symptoms were more likely to have high levels of dental fear. Finnish university students with psychological distress and teeth-related symptoms were more likely to experience higher levels of dental fear than their counterparts were. The results of this study support possible common vulnerability factors that dental fear and other psychological disorders may share.