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Oral health in the indigenous Sami population in Norway - the dental health in the North study

Journal article
Authors M. Brustad
A. K. S. Bongo
K. L. Hansen
T. A. Trovik
N. Oscarson
Birgitta Jönsson
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 78
Issue 2
Pages 98-108
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Odontology, Section 2
Pages 98-108
Language en
Keywords Dental health, epidemiology, indigenous, oral health, Sami, survey, prevalence, adults, caries, inequalities, trondelag, equality, county, cohort, trends, state, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Periodontology, Health Sciences


Objective: This study aims at presenting the feasibility of using the public oral health clinics in indigenous Sami communities, as arena for a comprehensive data collection for population-based epidemiological oral health research among adults (age, 18-75 years) in a multi-ethnic setting. Material and methods: The study design was cross-sectional. The data collection was incorporated into the clinical procedure at six public dental clinics situated in the Administrative Area for the Sami Language in Finnmark County, Northern Norway, during 2013-2014. Both clinical- and questionnaire-data were collected. The quality of clinical data was thoroughly calibrated and validated. Results: Altogether, 2235 people participated in the study gave a crude response rate at 88.7%. In the final data sample (n = 2034), 56.9% were female. We constructed three ethnic groups (Sami, Mixed Sami/Norwegian and Norwegian). Altogether, 67.7% reported Sami or mixed Sami ethnicity. The internal validity of the clinical data was found to be satisfactory when assessed by comprehensive quality procedure, calibration and reliability assessments. Conclusion: This study design and method assessments provide solid documentation that public dental clinics are suitable as arenas for data collection in epidemiological oral health studies in the Sami population in this region.

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