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Keywords:

  • IADL;
  • handgrip strength;
  • oral self-care;
  • old people

doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00427.x

Associations of instrumental activities of daily living and handgrip strength with oral self-care among home-dwelling elderly 75+

Objective:  To study the associations of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and the handgrip strength with oral self-care among dentate home-dwelling elderly people in Finland.

Materials and methods:  The study analysed data for 168 dentate participants (mean age 80.6 years) in the population-based Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) study. Each participant received a clinical oral examination and structured interview in 2004–2005. Functional status was assessed using the IADL scale and handgrip strength was measured using handheld dynamometry.

Results:  Study participants with high IADL (scores 7–8) had odds ratios (ORs) for brushing their teeth at least twice a day of 2.7 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.1–6.8], for using toothpaste at least twice a day of 2.0 (CI 0.8–5.2) and for having good oral hygiene of 2.8 (CI 1.0–8.3) when compared with participants with low IADL (scores ≤6). Participants in the upper tertiles of the handgrip strength had ORs for brushing the teeth at least twice a day of 0.9 (CI 0.4–1.9), for using the toothpaste at least twice a day of 0.9 (CI 0.4–1.8) and for good oral hygiene of 1.1 (CI 0.5–2.4) in comparison with the study subjects in the lowest tertile of handgrip strength.

Conclusion:  The results of this study suggest that the functional status, measured by means of the IADL scale, but not handgrip strength, is an important determinant of oral self-care among the home-dwelling elderly.