Impact of cash transfers on the use of oral health services and oral health outcomes: A systematic review

Akram Hernández-Vásquez, Diego Azañedo*, Rodrigo Vargas-Fernández, Gianfranco Basualdo-Meléndez, Francisco Barón-Lozada, Daniel Comandé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The objective of the present study was to summarize the evidence available on the impact of cash transfers on the use of oral health services and oral health outcomes. Materials and Methods: 9 databases were searched for studies on cash transfers and oral health: PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, EconLit, Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source, Scopus, Web of Science, and LILACS. We conducted a systematic review of studies that evaluated the impact of cash transfers on the use of oral health services and other oral health outcomes. Results: Three studies with more than 13,000 participants conducted in Brazil and Argentina were included. One study from Brazil found that participants in the Bolsa Familia Program (BFP) were more likely not to use oral health services (aPR: 6.18; 95% CI: 3.07-12.45; P 0.001) and had a higher probability of presenting dental caries (aPR: 2.00; 95% CI: 1.47-2.69) and severe caries (aRR: 1.53; 95% CI: 1.18-2.00). Another study conducted in Brazil found that the BFP was associated with fewer dental caries among those enrolled in the first 2 years of the BFP as well as after six years. On the other hand, the Argentina study found that the Universal Child Allowance program did not have a statistically significant average treatment effect (ATE =-0.05; P > 0.05) on the use of dental health services. Conclusion: There is a lack of evidence about the impact of CT on the use of oral health services and oral health outcomes. The evidence suggests that cash transfers might not have a positive impact on the use of oral health services. The results regarding the impact of receiving cash transfers on dental caries are contradictory. However, more evidence is needed to draw stronger conclusions for policy taking. Registration: The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021268234).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • Cash transfer
  • Latin America
  • oral health
  • systematic review

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