Study of the prevalence of Temporomandibular Disorders (tmd) and quality of life in an institutionalized elderly population
Purpose: This multidisciplinary prevalence study had the objective of identifying the prevalence
of TMD, chronic pain and quality of life in institutionalized elderly patients in Southern Brazil,
including depression and somatization levels. Methods: Forty subjects (55% women, mean
age=75 years±S.D., 80% Caucasian) in need of dental treatment were selected from two
long-term elderly institutions in the city of Porto Alegre. The World Health Organization Quality
of Life (WHOQOL) questionnaire was used for assessing quality of life, the Research Diagnostic
Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) for TMD signs and symptoms as well as
depression and somatization levels, and the North York Dental Health Survey (NYDHS ) for the
oral health status. Result s: Approximately 60% completed elementary school. It was also a low
income population (85%, $75 to $500 American dollars per month). Most (56.4%) were born
in the countryside. Ten percent had high intensity pain, with 2.5% accompanied by moderate
limitation. These severe signs and symptoms of TMD were associated with significant disability
in daily functions and had a negative impact in the level of psychological stress and quality
of life in institutionalized patients. In addition, almost 97.5% of the elderly has shown some
degree of depression, and 57.5% had moderate to strong somatization levels. Conclusions:
The proportion of elderly with severe TMD signs and symptoms was low; however, the great
frequency of depression and somatization, with a good number of them in actual treatment
need, highlights the importance of evaluating the elderly in all aspects.
Keywords: temporomandibular disorder; orofacial pain; depression; somatization; quality of life; elderly.
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