Home care recipients have poorer oral health than nursing home residents: Results from two German studies

This German study investigated oral health in care-dependent elderly individuals (+60 years), either living in nursing homes or being recipients of home care. Both were assessed objectively using the Oral Health Assessment Tool and subjectively using the Oral Health Impact Profile. The scores were compared and evaluated between both settings.

Dental professionals
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Both groups displayed poor oral health, with the objective and subjective oral health being poorer among the home care recipients than among nursing home residents – in terms of objective poor oral health, the prevalence was close to 90% compared to approximately 50%.

Oral cleanliness was poorer among the home care recipients than in the other group, indicating that the quality of the oral hygiene procedure is affected by the ones who perform it – the nursing home residents are probably taken care of by staff trained in oral care. The subjective oral health, that is, the oral health-related quality of life, was inferior in the group living in a home care setting – a fact most likely related to the poorer oral health status.

The authors stress the need of interventions to improve oral health and dental care, both in nursing home and home care settings, in particular the latter. Education of both formal and informal caregivers could be one approach to improve health among care-dependent elderly individuals.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Czwikla J et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.