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Use of care and the oral health status of people aged 60 years and older in France: results from the National Health and Disability Survey

Authors Maille G, Saliba-Serre B, Ferrandez AM, Ruquet M

Received 24 February 2017

Accepted for publication 13 May 2017

Published 31 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1159—1166


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Gérald Maille,1,2 Bérengère Saliba-Serre,1 Anne-Marie Ferrandez,1 Michel Ruquet1,2

1UMR 7268 ADÉS, Aix-Marseille Université–EFS–CNRS, Faculté de Médecine Nord, 2Faculté d’Odontologie, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille Cedex, France

Objective: We aimed to analyze, from the data in a national survey, the use of oral care and the oral health status of patients living at home or in an institution.
Background: Patients aged 60 years and older have important oral health needs, but their oral management may differ according to their immediate environment. The fact of living at home or in an institution can influence the use of care and alter the patients’ perception of their oral health status.
Methods: The data analyzed were taken from a survey on disability and health carried out in 2008–2009, which is representative of the population living in France. It consists of two sections, one centered on disability and health among home-dwellers and the other on patients living in an institution. In each of these two populations, we carried out descriptive analysis of three themes: use of care, forgoing of care, and oral health.
Results: Although visits to physicians and specialists were frequent, visits to dentists were lower in both populations. While a minority of patients forwent care, it was dental care that was mainly forgone by both home-dwellers and institutionalized patients. The cost factor remained the principal reason, but other factors such as fear or accessibility problems were cited. Use of a dental appliance was considerably more frequent among institutionalized patients than among home-dwellers, with just over half the institutionalized population wearing a dental appliance. Perceived state of oral health remained difficult to interpret.
Conclusion: To improve access to oral care for the elderly, the patients, their entourage and health providers need increased awareness and information on the importance of good oral health. Better information must be associated with regular clinical examination.

Keywords: dental care, health care access, elderly, home-dwellers, community-dwellers, institution, national Disability and Health Survey, France

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