# Aspects of oral health and dementia among Swiss nursing home residents

Jockusch, Julia; Riese, Florian; Theill, Nathan; Sobotta, Bernhard A J; Nitschke, Ina (2020). Aspects of oral health and dementia among Swiss nursing home residents. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie:Epub ahead of print.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND
Little empirical evidence of high levels of oral diseases of people in need of care and the impact of dementia is available. The resident assessment instrument minimum data set (RAI-MDS) is an evaluation tool for caregivers.
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to show oral health of nursing home residents through RAI-MDS 2.0 data as a function of the cognitive impairment.
METHODS
A retrospective analysis of RAI-MDS (general, cognitive, oral health variables) of 357 long-term care facilities in Switzerland (data of 105,835 residents) was carried out. The final sample size was 7922 residents after applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria in four evaluation groups (no dementia, moderate, severe and incident dementia).
RESULTS
As dementia developed and severity increased over time, subjects often had fewer or no teeth and did not wear removable dentures. Chewing problems increased over time regardless of the dementia severity. Oral complaints increased over time in subjects with severe dementia, which in turn led to low body mass index (BMI) values (<23 kg/m$^{2}$) and was associated with an higher risk of mortality.
CONCLUSION
This dataset provides an overview on dental aspects in patients with dementia in nursing homes. The accuracy of the assessment of a given dental situation by nursing staff is to be questioned. The results indicated an underdetection of oral illnesses by nurses.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND
Little empirical evidence of high levels of oral diseases of people in need of care and the impact of dementia is available. The resident assessment instrument minimum data set (RAI-MDS) is an evaluation tool for caregivers.
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to show oral health of nursing home residents through RAI-MDS 2.0 data as a function of the cognitive impairment.
METHODS
A retrospective analysis of RAI-MDS (general, cognitive, oral health variables) of 357 long-term care facilities in Switzerland (data of 105,835 residents) was carried out. The final sample size was 7922 residents after applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria in four evaluation groups (no dementia, moderate, severe and incident dementia).
RESULTS
As dementia developed and severity increased over time, subjects often had fewer or no teeth and did not wear removable dentures. Chewing problems increased over time regardless of the dementia severity. Oral complaints increased over time in subjects with severe dementia, which in turn led to low body mass index (BMI) values (<23 kg/m$^{2}$) and was associated with an higher risk of mortality.
CONCLUSION
This dataset provides an overview on dental aspects in patients with dementia in nursing homes. The accuracy of the assessment of a given dental situation by nursing staff is to be questioned. The results indicated an underdetection of oral illnesses by nurses.

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