Opinion of residents from the Gold Coast, Queensland, on community water fluoridation
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Objective: To investigate opinions and concerns of Gold Coast residents regarding fluoridation of community water supplies. Material and methods: Anonymous data were collected in four major shopping centers from approximately 500 Gold Coast residents. Results: Eighty-one percent of participants were aware of the addition of fluoride to the water supply. More than half obtained information on water fluoridation through the print and electronic media. Sixty percent of respondents supported water fluoridation. The majority preferred the public and/or health professionals to have made the decision on water fluoridation rather than the government. The percentage of residents supporting water fluoridation was lower than that found in other Queensland, Australian, and worldwide surveys. In this study, only age and the highest level of education attained were factors significantly related to levels of support for water fluoridation. Conclusion: The Queensland Government's decision to implement water fluoridation without a referendum caused disquiet amongst some Gold Coast residents. Future public health initiatives therefore may be assisted by more consultation with, and involvement from, health professionals in the relevant fields. Public health campaigns may benefit more from interaction with the community in order to address their specific concerns.
Journal of Investigative and Clinical Dentistry
Dentistry not elsewhere classified