Dental Care Utilization Among Caregivers Who Care for Older Adults

Bei Wu, Huabin Luo, Elizabeth Flint, Lu Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to investigate individual and contextual factors associated with dental care utilization by U.S. informal caregivers. The sample included all 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System respondents who completed the caregiver module and reported providing care for 1 year or more to an individual aged ≥ 50 years or older (n = 1,196). Multiple logistic regressions were used to examine associations of caregiver and care characteristics and county-level contextual characteristics (from Area Resource File data) with two outcomes: dental visits and dental cleaning during previous year. Caregivers with health insurance coverage and higher education were more likely to use dental care; those who had lost more teeth and who were spouse caregivers were less likely to do so. Community characteristics were not correlated with caregivers’ use of dental care. Our findings suggest that better access to dental care could improve dental care utilization by caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-412
Number of pages25
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 27 2015


  • caregivers
  • dental care utilization
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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