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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Perceptions of racial differences in oral health amongst African American men

Patrick Dean Smith, BS1, Wanda Wright, RN, DDS, MS2, Anuradha Deshmukh, BDS, MSD2, and Ana Karina Mascarenhas, DMD3. (1) School of Dental Medicine, Harvard University, 188 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, 617-935-1895, patrick_smith@student.hms.harvard.edu, (2) Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston University, 560 Harrison Ave., 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02118, (3) Division of Dental Public Health, Boston University School of Dental Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02115

Purpose: Black males suffer from oral health disparities in disproportionate numbers compared to any other racial or ethnic population in the United States. Provider bias, stereotyping, prejudice, patient education, and barriers in cultural competency may play an important role in how Black males experience oral health care. The aim of this study is to determine whether Black males perceive racism accessing oral health care. Methods: To conduct the study, a 30 item questionnaire was designed using a model from the Perceptions of Racism Scale. Black males from churches and community organizations in the Boston area participated in the study over a period of 10 months. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel then imported into Statistical Analysis Software Version 9.0 (SAS Institute: Cary, N.C.) for analysis. The 30 items were rated on a 4-point Likert-type scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated using frequencies and chi-square test for proportions and Kruskal-Wallis test for means. Logistic regression was used for dichotomous outcomes after controlling for potential confounders. Finally, Mantel-Haenszel Odd ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from the regression coefficients. Results: Of the 167 Black males surveyed, 60% had insurance, 59% had seen a dentist within a year, 85% had never been screened for oral cancer or were not aware, and 33% had a preference for a Black dentist. Data suggests that those men preferring Black dentists were significantly more likely to perceive racism in life experiences as well as their experiences accessing oral health care. Other significant findings suggest that Black males with dental insurance perceive more equality within oral health patient-provider relationships. Conclusions : Results from this study are consistent with the belief that race does matter when treating many Black male patients. In efforts to reduce the oral health disparities that exist within this population, race is a variable that should be considered when addressing access to oral health care as well as treatment outcomes.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: African American, Male Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Protecting the Right to Health for African American Men

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA