Employment status and unmet dental care needs in South Korea: A population-based panel study

Jae Woo Choi, Young Choi, Tae Hoon Lee, Hyo Jung Lee, Yeong Jun Ju, Eun Cheol Park

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Objectives This study was designed to evaluate whether employment status is associated with the experience of unmet dental care needs. Methods A total of 4620 workers were retrieved from Korea Health Panel data (2010-2013), and potential relationships were explored among their income levels, changes in employment and unmet dental care needs. Results Among the 4620 workers, 17.3% said they had failed at least once to get dental treatment or check-up, despite their needs. Precarious workers and those not in employment were more likely to experience unmet dental care needs due to economic burden compared with permanent workers (OR 1.36, 1.40, respectively). In addition, people in low-income group were 4.46 times more likely to experience unmet dental care needs caused by economic burden, compared with those with the highest income. Conclusion This disparity means that precarious workers and those not in employment are more likely to face barriers in obtaining needed health services. Given the insecure employment status of low income people, meeting their healthcare needs is an important consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere022436
JournalBMJ open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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