Komulainen K, Ylöstalo P, Syrjälä A-M, Ruoppi P, Knuuttila M, Sulkava R, Hartikainen S. Preference for dentist’s home visits among older people. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2012; 40: 89–95. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Abstract – Objectives: To investigate factors associated with older people’s preference for a dentist’s home visit. Methods: This is a report on 321 home-dwelling participants (mean age 81.6) in the population-based Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) study, conducted in 2004–2005 in the city of Kuopio in eastern Finland. The information about sociodemographic and general health-related factors and the use of social and health services was collected by two study nurses using a structured interview. Each study subject was given a clinical oral examination and an interview about oral health and the use of dental health care services by one of two dentists. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of the study subjects, 25.9% preferred a dentist’s home visit. The preference for choosing a dentist’s home visit was associated with a low score (≤24) in the Mini-Mental State Examination, OR 6.1 (CI: 2.9–13.6), and a low score (<8) on the scale of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, OR 8.0 (CI: 3.6–18.6). It was also associated with living alone, OR 5.9 (CI: 2.7–13.0), and high use of home care services, OR 9.3 (CI: 4.6–19.0). Conclusions: The findings of this study emphasize the need to organize dentists’ home visits in order to increase equality in the use of dental health care services among the older people with disabilities.