Aims: Dental services differ from other health services in several dimensions. One important difference is that a substantial share of costs of dental services-especially costs beyond routine dental treatment-is paid directly by the patient out-of-pocket. Settings and design: This study analyses the socio-economic determinants of out-of-pocket expenditure for dental services (OOPE) in Austria at the household level. Methods and material: Cross-sectional information on OOPE and household characteristics provided by the Austrian household budget survey 2009/10 was analysed. Statistical analysis used: A two-part model (Logit/GLM) and one-part GLM was applied. Results: The probability of OOPE is strongly affected by the life cycle (structure) of the household. It is higher for higher age classes, higher income, and partially higher levels of education. The type of public insurance has an influence on expenditure probability while the existence of private health insurance has no significant effect. In contrast to the highly statistically significant coefficients in the first stage, the covariates of the second stage remain predominantly insignificant. According to the results, the level of expenditure is driven mainly by the level of education and income. The results of the one-part GLM confirm the results of the two-part model. Conclusions: The results allow new insights into the determinants of OOPE for dental care. The household level turns out to be an adequate basis to study the determinants of OOPE, although caution should be applied before jumping to conclusions for the individual level.
Out-of-pocket expenditure Dental services Two-part model Generalized linear model