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Associated factors for oral health problems in a sample of Saudi cancer patients

Authors Yenugadhati N, Albalawi AN, Qureshey AT, Qureshey ET, Al-Jahdali H, Jazieh AR, Ahmed AE

Received 12 February 2018

Accepted for publication 27 March 2018

Published 21 May 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1285—1293


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri

Nagarajkumar Yenugadhati,1,2 Alhanouf Naji Albalawi,3 Aisha Taha Qureshey,3,* Eiman Taha Qureshey,3,* Hamdan Al-Jahdali,4 Abdul Rahman Jazieh,5 Anwar E Ahmed1,2

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), Ministry of National Guard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Ministry of National Guard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 3Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division-ICU, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Ministry of National Guard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Oncology, King Abdulaziz Medical City for National Guard, Ministry of National Guard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Oral health in cancer patients was known to influence the quality of life. However, the knowledge of possible factors associated with oral health in cancer patients is seriously lacking in Saudi Arabia. In this study, we aimed to determine the burden of adverse oral health in cancer patients and identify the associated factors for oral health problems.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to recruit a total of 375 cancer patients who attended oncology outpatient clinics at King Abdulaziz Medical City – Riyadh (KAMC-R) by using a consecutive sampling technique. A self-reporting questionnaire was used to collect the sociodemographic information, clinical symptoms, and lifestyle factors of cancer patients. Furthermore, depression, anxiety, and stress were assessed by using Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale. The authors assessed the oral health complaints based on seven common conditions (bleeding gums, toothache, mouth ulcers, bruxism, xerostomia, problems affecting speech, and satisfactory dietary intake). Unadjusted and adjusted risk ratios (aRR) and 95% CIs for the factors associated with the number of oral complaints experienced were computed using Poisson regression model.
Results: The prevalence of oral health conditions experienced by cancer patients was 86.1% (95% CI: 82.2%–89.5%). Female sex (aRR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.05–1.78), low income (aRR=1.58, 95% CI: 1.23–2.04), smoking (aRR=1.29, 95% CI: 1.02–1.64), anxiety (aRR=1.75, 95% CI: 1.36–2.24), and stress (aRR=1.25, 95% CI: 1.00–1.55) were associated with increased risk of oral health problems in cancer patients (p≤0.05), whereas breast cancer patients experienced reduced risk (aRR=0.72, 95% CI: 0.56–0.93).
Conclusion: Our study highlighted the significant burden of oral health problems in Saudi cancer patients at KAMC-R and identified several key associated factors for oral health to aid healthcare practitioners in improving cancer management practices.

Keywords: oral health, cancer survivors, prevalence, associated factors

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