2008 Volume 46 Issue 4 Pages 369-374
This article describes the second phase of a large study of Lithuanian dentists' health, and focuses on self-reported physical health complaints, general health state and associations between the two. In 2006, a postal questionnaire survey of all (N=2,449) licensed dentists registered with the Lithuanian Dental Association was conducted, obtaining a response rate of 68.2%. Fatigue (94.7%) and back pain (91.0%) were the most prevalent physical complaints reported, and they were also the most likely to become chronic among all physical disorders. Hypertension, joint diseases and allergy were the most prevalent diagnosed and treated diseases during the previous 12 months. Only half of the surveyed Lithuanian dentists (50.4%) rated their health as satisfactory. Logistic regression revealed that fatigue (Odds Ratio: 0.52; 95%CI: 0.29-0.94), headache (OR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.42-0.90), hand problems (OR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.44-0.87), chest pain (OR: 0.51; 95%CI: 0.40-0.64) and musculoskeletal complaints (OR: 0.41; 95%CI: 0.28-0.60) had a significant negative impact on dentists' self-reported general health. Overall, this study suggests that Lithuanian dentists do experience a certain amount of occupationally-related health problems. It is therefore important to increase health knowledge on occupational hazards and also to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for these disorders in Lithuania, as elsewhere.