Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine

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Oral health status and oral hygiene practice between home-dwelling and institutionalised older people

Abodunrin Q. Aminu, Omolara Uti, Damilola L. Balogun, Francis C. Onyeahialam, Sandra Eniola, Adeola Adesanya, Bilikisu B. Aminu


Background: Oral health has generally been described as a component of general health that significantly influences the quality of life of older people. However, no research was found to have described oral health disparities among home-dwelling and institutionalised older people in Nigeria. Therefore, this study aimed at exploring the relationship between residential status (home-dwellers Vs institutionalised), oral hygiene practice and oral health status of older Nigerians aged 65 years and over.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study which included 87 consenting older people (50 home-dwellers and 37 institutionalised). Data was collected using interviewer administered questionnaires and oral health of the participants was clinically assessed using Greene and Vermillion oral hygiene index. Binary regression models were conducted to examine the association between residential status and oral health outcomes. Control variables were introduced to improve the fitness of the models.

Results: The respondents were within the age range of 65 to 97 years with mean (72.9 ± 8.16). We identified a high prevalence of poor oral hygiene status (40%) and toothloss (69%) in the study population. Home-dwelling older people were less likely to have poor oral hygiene practice (OR= 0.30, 95% CI 0.10, 0.89) and poor oral health status (OR= 0.13, 95% CI 0.02, 0.64) when compared with those that were institutionalised, at P < 0.05.

Conclusion: Our findings indicated poor oral hygiene practices and poor oral health status in the study population. Thus, it is pertinent for policy makers to
formulate oral health promotions suited for improving oral health outcomes among these individuals.

Keywords: Oral Health, Older People, Institutionalised, Clinical Assessment, Home-Dwelling, Oral Hygiene Practice, Nigeria

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