The impact of dental treatment on employment outcomes: A systematic review

Discipline of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 1G6. Electronic address: .
Health Policy (Impact Factor: 1.73). 10/2012; 109(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.09.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: Policy advocates in North America argue that access to dental care for low income and unemployed populations can help improve the chances of acquiring a job or attaining a better job, thus having positive economic and social benefits. Our objective is to review the evidence in support of the policy hypothesis that timely access to dental care can improve employment outcomes. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted by searching various scientific databases and search engines. Key words included Dental Care, Dental Intervention, Social Welfare, Unemployment, Employment, and Job. RESULTS: Seven articles were considered eligible for this review. They varied in study design, target population and intervention studied. Overall, they presented low levels of evidence due to small sample sizes, lack of control groups, combined interventions or being based on anecdotal reports. CONCLUSIONS: There is a limited amount of evidence concerning the assumption that dental care can improve employment outcomes. The scarcity of well-conducted studies and the poor quality of evidence makes it difficult to judge the effect of dental care on employment outcomes. More studies need to be conducted in order to confirm or dismiss this generalized assumption.

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