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Type: Thesis
Title: The Thai social capital as a social determinant of oral health.
Author: Suksudaj, Sutee
Issue Date: 2010
School/Discipline: School of Dentistry
Abstract: Background: A Strategy to promote social capital has been included in the Thai government's economic and social development plan since 2007. According to the plan, social capital covered the traditional definition of institutional and social networks, the structure of relationships and norms of reciprocity. In addition, it also included all non-financial capital such as individual characteristics, local wisdom and physical environment. Several studies, conducted in the industrialized countries, found social capital to be a determinant of health/oral health. However, no studies systematically explored the nature of social capital in Thai rural communities and its relationship to oral health. Objectives: This research aimed to explore social capital of Thai rural communities, focusing on its role in oral health. Researchers also wanted to test if the well-established determinants (such as socioeconomic status, smoking, oral health care utilization) could determine oral health of the Thai rural people. Methods: An integrated qualitative-quantitative approach was implemented. An ethnographic study in several north-eastern communities was undertaken to identify the locally specific social capital variables. Those variables were transformed into a questionnaire, then asked in the quantitative phase of the study. The questionnaire also explored oral health related quality of life (OHIP-14), oral health behaviours, mental health, socioeconomic status and demographics. Clinical oral health examinations, collecting caries experience (DMFT) and clinical attachment loss (CAL), were carried out. 650 participants, 35-80 years old, living in six sub-districts or Tambon (Thai: ตำบล) of Sakonnakhon, north eastern Thailand participated in this study. Results: The ethnographic study found that Thai rural social capital comprises tangible and intangible assets that contribute to people’s Survival from financial constrains, their lifestyle of “living in moderation” (Sufficiency) and the presence of a Sustainable community environment. The quantitative study found 1) non-linear relationship between Thai social capital and oral disease as well as oral health related the quality of life; 2) age was the strongest predictor of oral diseases; and 3) conventional risk factors were associated with oral diseases, oral health-related quality of life e.g. socioeconomic status associated with caries experience, smoking associated periodontitis, and oral health care utilization associated with oral health-related quality of life. The research contributions: 1) Social capital is a determinant of health/oral health in contemporary Thai rural communities. 2) By incorporating the concept of locally and culturally-appropriate research study, it is the very first community dentistry research, done in Thailand that used the qualitative-quantitative integration approach. 3) It confirmed the influence of major risk factors of oral diseases in Thai rural population. 4) It was the first study to use a Thai version of OHIP-14 to explore oral health related quality of life in Thai population.
Advisor: Slade, Gary Douglas
Roberts-Thomson, Kaye Frances
Taylor, James
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Dentistry, 2010
Keywords: oral health; social determinant; social capital; oral health related quality of life; Thailand
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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