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Frailty as a determinant of dental attendance among community-dwelling older adults

Janssens, Barbara; Tsakos, Georgios; De Visschere, Luc; Verté, Dominique; De Witte, Nico; (2023) Frailty as a determinant of dental attendance among community-dwelling older adults. Gerodontology , 40 (3) pp. 363-371. 10.1111/ger.12664. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the association between different levels of frailty and dental attendance among home-dwelling older adults, in Belgium. BACKGROUND: While many determinants of dental attendance among older adults have been identified, no study has focused on the role of frailty. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study on a random sample of home-dwelling adults aged 60 and over from two Belgian cities. Data were collected with a structured questionnaire through a participatory peer-research method. Time since the last dental attendance was the dependent variable. The independent variable was frailty, assessed with the Comprehensive Frailty Assessment Instrument, including physical, psychological, social, and environmental subdomains. Covariates were age, gender, having a partner, educational level, and household income, as well as self-perceived oral health. Data analysis included descriptive, bivariate (Chi-Square, ANOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis), and binomial logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 1329 older adults with a mean age of 72.5 years (SD 8.9, range 60-103). In the low frailty group, 73% attended the dentist in the previous 12 months, while it was 62% and 54% in the medium and high frailty groups, respectively. In the fully adjusted model, the initial gradient in the relationship between overall frailty and dental attendance remained; those in the medium and the high frailty groups were respectively 1.46 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.95) and 1.67 (95% CI: 1.15, 2.43) times more likely to report no dental attendance in the previous year than the low frailty group. Similar associations could be seen in the physical and environmental frailty subdomains. CONCLUSION: Frailty is consistently associated with less favourable dental attendance, independent from age, gender, socioeconomic factors, family composition, and self-perceived oral health. Once frailty has been detected, good interprofessional communication and care are needed to avoid the drop-out of older adults from the oral healthcare system.

Type: Article
Title: Frailty as a determinant of dental attendance among community-dwelling older adults
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ger.12664
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ger.12664
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: dental attendance, elderly, frailty, older adults, oral health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159603
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