Oral health status of older adults in Kentucky: results from the Kentucky Elder Oral Health Survey

Spec Care Dentist. Sep-Oct 2010;30(5):185-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2010.00154.x. Epub 2010 Aug 17.


The purpose of the Kentucky Elder Oral Health Survey (KEOHS) was to assess the oral health status of Kentuckians 65 and older. The KEOHS consisted of a self-administered questionnaire and a clinical examination. Recruitment occurred from May 2002 through March 2005 of persons aged 65 and older (n = 1,386) whose functional ability was classified by residential setting. Independent elders living in their own homes were designated as "well-elders," those who lived in skilled nursing facilities and who were functionally dependent were designated as "nursing home elders," and those older adults who were considered frail were designated as "homebound elders." Significant associations were found between the functional ability of the elders and demographic characteristics. While elders who were homebound reported the highest rate of barriers to care, dental insurance, affordability, and transportation were consistently reported as barriers for all groups of elders. This study has established the baseline oral health status of older adults in Kentucky and the data show differences that exist for various community living situations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Dental Care / economics
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Dentures / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Homebound Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Independent Living / statistics & numerical data
  • Insurance, Dental / statistics & numerical data
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Mouth, Edentulous / epidemiology
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Oral Health*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Transportation of Patients / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data