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Preference for dentist’s home visits among older people

Authors

  • Kaija Komulainen,

    1. Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Faculty of Health Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology and Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Unit, School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    3. Social and Health Centre of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Pekka Ylöstalo,

    1. Department of Periodontology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland
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  • Anna-Maija Syrjälä,

    1. Department of Periodontology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland
    2. Oulu Health Centre, Oulu, Finland
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  • Piia Ruoppi,

    1. Social and Health Centre of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Matti Knuuttila,

    1. Department of Periodontology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland
    2. Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
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  • Raimo Sulkava,

    1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Geriatrics, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Sirpa Hartikainen

    1. Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Faculty of Health Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology and Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Unit, School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
    3. Leppävirta Health Centre, Leppävirta, Finland
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Kaija Komulainen, Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, P. O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Tel.: +358403552440
Fax: +35817162424
e-mail: kaija.komulainen@uef.fi

Abstract

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.

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