G.J. van der Putten
G.J.M.G. van der Heijden
- Probing problems and priorities in oral health (care) among community dwelling elderly in the Netherlands: a mixed method study
- International Journal of Health Sciences and Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 5 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Background: Complex dentitions and decline in adequate oral hygiene in elderly may lead to poor oral health. This may have impact on their general health, wellbeing and quality of life. With increased longevity, the problems and needs in oral health of community dwelling elderly lead to changes in oral health care needs. We identified and prioritized problems and needs in oral health of community dwelling elderly.
Methods: The problems and needs in oral health of community dwelling elderly were elicited during focus groups and interviews. The list of problems and needs derived thereof was presented to 97 elderly who prioritized these.
Results: Overall, older people appeared to be satisfied with their current oral health, and the maintenance and care for their oral health. Cost of care was identified as a major problem in general. There are differences in current perceived problems and needs and problems and needs anticipated for the future. Perceived current problems and needs concern dental care provision and knowledge on oral health of professionals and patients. For anticipated future problems and needs the importance of daily oral care by caregivers was prioritised, while emphasis was placed on fear of losing autonomy.
Conclusion: It is important to take the perspectives and expectations of elderly into account in policy and planning of future oral health care practice, because these differ from the perspectives of dental professionals.