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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


SILVA, Silvio Rocha Corrêa da  and  CASTELLANOS FERNANDES, Roberto A. Self-perception of oral health status by the elderly. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.35, n.4, pp.349-355. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the self-perception of oral health status of the elderly and to analize the clinics, subjectives and sociodemographic factors that interfer in this perception. METHODS: Results are based on interviews and clinical assessment of 201 subjects aged 60 years and over, who were dentate, functionally independents and used to go to a health care center in the town of Araraquara, SP, Brazil. A questionnaire with questions about social characteristics of the sampled population, their oral health status self-perception and the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) was applied. All subject underwent a clinical examination to determine the prevalence of the main oral diseases. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the association between social and clinic variables, and the GOHAI index with their oral health self-perceptions. In addition, analyses were made to identify self-assessment predictors. RESULTS: The clinical examination revealed that dental caries and periodontal disease had a significant prevalence, though 42.7% of the sample assessed their oral health status as regular. Social class, the GOHAI index, and the decayed and missing teeth were all associated with the self-assessment. The multivariate analysis showed that the self-assessment predictors were the GOHAI index, missing teeth and Community Periodontal Index and Treatment Needs index. These predictors accounted for 30% of the self-assessment variability. CONCLUSIONS: As the oral health self-perception had minor influence on the clinical conditions, developing educational and preventive actions for the elderly population are recommended.

Keywords : Geriatric dentistry; Oral health; Self concept; Health conditions; Aging health; Dental health surveys; Socioeconomic factors; Questionnaires.

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