A cross-sectional study of oral health-related quality of life of Piracicaba’s elderly population

  • Anabel Cristina Bortoletto Alcarde UNICAMP
  • Telmo Oliveira Bittar UNICAMP
  • Denise Helena Fornazari UNICAMP
  • Marcelo Castro Meneghim UNICAMP
  • Gláucia Maria Bovi Ambrosano UNICAMP
  • Antonio Carlos Pereira UNICAMP
Keywords: Elderly, quality of life, GOHAI index


Purpose: This paper aimed to assess the self-perceived oral health status in 137 elderly from Piracicaba city, São Paulo state, Brazil, and to investigate the influence of socio-demographic variables, institutionalization status and access to dental care services on the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) index final score. Methods: The sample comprised institutionalized and non-institutionalized elderly, from 60 to 92 years old, socially independent or partially dependent, without significant cognitive alterations, with different educational and monthly income levels. An oral examination and two questionnaires were employed as instruments to gather subject characteristics. The first questionnaire included the 12 items of the GOHAI, and the second questionnaire gathered socio-demographic variables. The data were evaluated with a Chi-square test and logistic regression, with p < 0.05 as the significance cut-off. Results: The GOHAI final mean score of 27.49 indicated a low oral health self-perception, and the score was significantly associated with life style and institutionalization. The risk indicators for low oral health self-perception were the demand for urgent dental care and the self-perceived need for dental treatment. These indicators correlated with a lower GOHAI score, and the differences were statistically significant (P<0.0001), demonstrating that a low oral health self-perception is directly correlated with a worse oral health clinical status. This information can be useful for planning public health policies. Conclusion: The GOHAI final score in this study was considered low. Self-motivation and self-perception of the need for dental treatment were considered risk indicators for a low final GOHAI score.

Author Biography

Telmo Oliveira Bittar, UNICAMP
Departamento de Odontologia em Saúde Coletiva
Original Article