Masticatory factors as predictors of oral health-related quality of life among elderly people in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
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This study aimed to evaluate which masticatory factor is the best predictor of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in elderly Taiwanese individuals aged 65 years and older.
Subjects were 332 community-dwelling, independently living elderly adults (mean age, 76.0 ± 0.4 years) in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Information concerning age, gender, and socioeconomic status was collected via face-to-face interview questionnaires; the number of food groups rated ‘easy to chew’ was determined by using food intake questionnaires; and OHRQoL data were obtained by using the Taiwanese version of the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI-T). The number of natural teeth, functional tooth units, and posterior occlusal contacts according to Eichner Index was assessed by dental examination. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the best masticatory factor that could serve as a predictor of GOHAI scores.
The number of food groups rated ‘easy to chew’ was found to be the only masticatory factor affecting GOHAI-T scores, after adjustment for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and other masticatory variables. As compared to subjects who listed less food groups as ‘easy to chew,’ subjects who rated more food groups as ‘easy to chew’ were less likely to have low GOHAI-T scores.
Of the masticatory predictors analyzed in this study, perceived masticatory ability, as measured using a food intake questionnaire, could be the best masticatory predictor of OHRQoL in the elderly.
KeywordsElderly Functional tooth units Posterior occlusal contacts Masticatory ability Oral health-related quality of life Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index
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