Herenia P Lawrence, Joanne B Clovis and Debora C Matthews contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
RK carried out the data analysis and the interpretation of data as well as wrote the manuscript. HPL contributed to the study design, calculated the required sample size and random selection of the long-term care facilities. She also participated in the analysis and interpretation of the data and critically reviewed the manuscript. DCM and JBC were principal investigators of the TOHAP study. They contributed to the interpretation of the data and review of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The purpose of the study is to describe the impact of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) on the lives of pre-seniors and seniors living in Nova Scotia, Canada.
This cross-sectional study involved 1461 participants, grouped by age (pre-seniors [45–64] and seniors [65+]) and residential status (long-term care facility [LTC] or community). OHRQoL was measured using the 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire (OHIP-14) in a random digit dialing telephone survey (for community residents) or a face-to-face interview (for LTC residents). Intra-oral examinations were performed by one of six dentists calibrated to W.H.O. standards.
Approximately one in four pre-seniors and seniors reported at least one OHRQoL impact ‘fairly/very often’. The most commonly reported impacts were within the dimensions ‘physical pain’ and ‘psychological discomfort’. It was found that 12.2% of LTC residents found it uncomfortable to eat any foods ‘fairly/very’ often compared to 7.7% in the community, and 11.6% of LTC residents reported being self-conscious ‘fairly/very often’ compared to 8.2% in the community. Of those residing in the community, pre-seniors (28.8%) reported significantly more impacts than seniors (22.0%); but there were no significant differences in OHRQoL between pre-seniors (21.2%) and seniors (25.3%) in LTC. Pre-seniors living in the community scored significantly higher than community dwelling seniors on prevalence, extent and severity of OHIP-14 scores. Logistic regression revealed that for the community dwelling sample, individuals living in rural areas in addition to those being born outside of Canada were approximately 2.0 times more likely to report an impact ‘fairly/very often’, whereas among the LTC sample, those having a high school education or less were 2.3 times more likely to report an impact.
Findings indicate that the oral health and OHRQoL of both pre-seniors and seniors in LTC residents is poor. Community dwelling pre-seniors have the highest prevalence rate of oral impacts.