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Open Access Research

Oral health related quality of life in pregnant and post partum women in two social network domains; predominantly home-based and work-based networks

Gabriela A Lamarca12*, Maria do C Leal1, Anna TT Leao3, Aubrey Sheiham2 and Mario V Vettore4

Author Affiliations

1 Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, BR

2 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK

3 Faculdade de Odontologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, BR

4 Instituto de Estudos em Saúde Coletiva, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, BR

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2012, 10:5  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-5

Published: 13 January 2012

Abstract

Background

Individuals connected to supportive social networks have better general and oral health quality of life. The objective of this study was to assess whether there were differences in oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) between women connected to either predominantly home-based and work-based social networks.

Methods

A follow-up prevalence study was conducted on 1403 pregnant and post-partum women (mean age of 25.2 ± 6.3 years) living in two cities in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Women were participants in an established cohort followed from pregnancy (baseline) to post-partum period (follow-up). All participants were allocated to two groups; 1. work-based social network group - employed women with paid work, and, 2. home-based social network group - women with no paid work, housewives or unemployed women. Measures of social support and social network were used as well as questions on sociodemographic characteristics and OHRQoL and health related behaviors. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to obtain OR of relationships between occupational contexts, affectionate support and positive social interaction on the one hand, and oral health quality of life, using the Oral Health Impacts Profile (OHIP) measure, adjusted for age, ethnicity, family income, schooling, marital status and social class.

Results

There was a modifying effect of positive social interaction on the odds of occupational context on OHRQoL. The odds of having a poorer OHIP score, ≥4, was significantly higher for women with home-based social networks and moderate levels of positive social interactions [OR 1.64 (95% CI: 1.08-2.48)], and for women with home-based social networks and low levels of positive social interactions [OR 2.15 (95% CI: 1.40-3.30)] compared with women with work-based social networks and high levels of positive social interactions. Black ethnicity was associated with OHIP scores ≥4 [OR 1.73 (95% CI: 1.23-2.42)].

Conclusions

Pregnant and post-partum Brazilian women in paid employment outside the home and having social supports had better OHRQoL than those with home-based social networks.

Keywords:
women's health; oral health; quality of life; social support; social networks; occupation