Objectives: To describe the oral health-related quality-of-life in homebound elderly dependent on moderate and substantial supportive care for daily living.
Materials and methods: A total of 302 selected persons in three counties in Sweden over 65 years of age and in need of daily support from society participated in the study. Half of the participants had moderate needs of support, defined as supportive care of 15-50 h per month and half had substantial needs of supportive care, i.e. 3-times a day with a night overview. An oral examination was performed and structured questions were asked about general health and living conditions, medication, oral care routines and quality-of-life, using the instrument GOHAI (Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Instrument).
Results: Cardiovascular disease was common and an average of seven prescription drugs was used. More than half of the participants had dentures. The strongest correlation with GOHAI was the total number of teeth. There was a significant difference between individuals with moderate and substantial needs according to GOHAI, irrespective of gender. More elderly people with substantial needs of support had low GOHAI values. Decayed teeth, DT/T, root remnants and dry mouth were negatively correlated to GOHAI among individuals with substantial needs.
Conclusions: This study found that elderly homebound individuals with substantial needs of supportive care had a lower quality-of-life than elderly homebound individuals with moderate needs of supportive care, although both medical and odontological variables were similar in the groups.