The utilization of dental care services according to health insurance coverage in Catalonia (Spain)

Vladimir Pizarro, Montse Ferrer*, Antonia Domingo-Salvany, Joan Benach, Carme Borrell, Angels Pont, Anna Schiaffino, Josue Almansa, Ricard Tresserras, Jordi Alonso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of dental care service use with health insurance and its evolution. The Catalan Health Interview Survey is a cross-sectional study conducted in 1994 (n = 15 000) and 2001-2 (n = 8400) by interviews at home to a representative sample of Catalonia (Spain). All the estimates were obtained by applying weights to restore the representativeness of the Catalonia general population. In the bivariate analysis, age, gender, social class and health insurance coverage were statistically associated with a dental visit in the previous year (P <0.001). Analysis with logistic regression showed that health insurance status has a statistically significant association with utilization (P <0.001), which was independent of the other socio-economic factors (age, gender, country of birth, and social class). However, the falling trend of differences by health insurance coverage is of note (adjusted OR = 2.2 and 1.5 at 1994 and 2002, respectively); as well as the positive evolution of the overall rate of dental service care use in the previous year, from 26.7% in 1994 to 34.3% in 2002. Future studies will be needed to monitor this tendency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2009
Externally publishedYes


  • dental care
  • health surveys
  • socioeconomic factors
  • utilization

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