Statement of the Problem: Need assessment considered as a key element of health care planning. Subjective measures can be useful tools in epidemiologic surveillances.
Purpose: The aim of study was to evaluate inequality in perceived unmet oral health need (PUOHN) in adults in east of Iran.
Materials and Method: In this cross-sectional population-based study, the target population included adult residents in the Mashhad and Kerman city. Data was collected through telephone interviews using a validated structured questionnaire. Phone numbers were obtained from telecommunication company. Participants were selected by stratified random sampling. Predisposing and enabling variables associated with PUOHN were included gender, age, educational level, job, insurance coverage, dental insurance, type of insurance, residential location, household size, and family economic indicators. Logistic regression was used to examine association of PUOHN and predisposing and enabling factors.
Results: 1475 individuals participated in the study [response rate of 63%]. 52% of participants stated that during the past year, their dental needs haven’t been met. Mean age of respondents were 39 years old and 69.8% were female. Logistic regression analyses indicated living in rental house [OR=2 [95% CI 1.25-3.21], p Value=0.004] and higher household size [OR=1.19[95% CI 1.003-1.43], p-value =0.04] significantly associated with PUOHN.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate high PUOHN in the adult population of East Iran. Effective strategies must be implemented to provide accessible dental services regardless of socioeconomic status.