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Title:Choice and Use of Services Under an Employer -Provided Dental Benefit Program: A Pilot Study
Author(s):Ahmed, Arif
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Herbert M. Hazelkorn
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Health Care Management
Abstract:This study investigates the determinants of dental services utilization among insured individuals. The research questions specifically addressed are: (1) What are the 'cost' variables that best explain the differences between users and non-users of dental services? (2) Which predisposing and enabling variables best explain preventive dental service utilization? (3) What are the effects of choice of plan type on dental service utilization? Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization is used as the theoretical framework of the study and the effects of non-monetary costs of dental care on utilization are emphasized in the analysis. The sample consists of 448 employees of a large midwestern state university enrolled in a fee-for-service or a managed-care dental benefit plan offered by the State. The employees responded to a 37-item self-administered questionnaire on their dental benefit plan characteristics, dental services use history, dental visit characteristics and satisfaction, oral health beliefs and habits, general health status, and demographic characteristics. The overall response rate was 30.2 percent. Separate logistic regression models were calculated for dental visit for any reason and that for preventive services. Oral health beliefs, travel time cost, income, and having a usual source of dental care were significant predictors of at least one dental visit during the previous twelve months. Among these variables, income was not a significant predictor of preventive dental visit. Race was also a significant predictor of preventive dental visit---Blacks were less likely than non-blacks to visit the dentist for preventive services in the previous twelve months. After controlling for sociodemographic variables, there was no difference in dental visit by plan type. Usual source of dental care was the most robust predictor of any dental visit as well as of preventive dental visit. The study highlights the importance of dental insurance in providing a usual source of dental care and discusses the implications of the findings particularly in light the of recent trend of decline in employer-provided dental benefits. Suggestions for future research and policy guidelines for employee benefits formulation and dental services planning are provided.
Issue Date:2001
Description:107 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023004
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

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