The association between clinical oral health and general quality of life: a population-based study of individuals aged 50-74 in Southern Brazil

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Abstract

Objectives

Few studies have assessed the impact that oral health status and prosthetic rehabilitation have on the general quality of life (QoL) of individuals and there is a lack of information about the association between prosthetic status and QoL. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the association between clinical oral health variables and general QoL in individuals aged 50-74 years in Porto Alegre.

Methodology

This cross-sectional study consisted of 720 participants aged between 50 and 74 years residing in three health districts of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil. They were selected through multistage proportional random sampling. Data were collected through (i) interview using structured questionnaire on demographic data and the World Health Organization Abbreviated Instrument for Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL-BREF) to assess QoL, (ii) oral clinical examination using criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Epidemiological Survey SB/Brazil in 2000. The interviews and clinical examinations were performed at their homes by four pairs of trained and calibrated researchers. The scores of QoL were categorized by their median into low (≤median) and high (>median). The association between outcomes and the factors studied was analysed by Poisson Regression using multiple backward methods, with adjustment for robust variance, and Svyset function scheduled following the stages of the research.

Results

The physical domain of WHOQOL-BREF was associated with use of upper prosthesis and educational level. The psychological domain score was related to level of education. The decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT), gender and educational level were associated to the social relations domain. In the environment domain, an association with use and need of lower prosthesis, age and educational level was observed.

Conclusions

Clinical oral health variables such as DMFT and use and need of prosthesis were associated with general QoL in this population.

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