June 2015

Volume 32, Issue 2

A pilot project to improve the oral health of orphans and of the elderly in residential care in Constanta, Romania

Authors: C. Amariei M. Harris K.A. Eaton S.P. Zusman
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3435Zusman04


A pilot project to improve the oral health of orphans and of the elderly in residential care in Constanta, Romania S.P. Zusman, K.A. Eaton, M. Harris and C. Amariei Aim: A pilot project to improve the oral health of Romanian orphans and elderly people in residential homes. Material and Methods: The orphanage and old persons’ home were in Constanta. After training, 50 fifth-year dental students made 14 weekly residential home visits to improve carers’ oral health knowledge and oral hygiene (OH) procedures and to monitor progress in one orphan and one old person. At baseline and after 14 weeks a local dental school staff member examined each orphan and old person’s oral health using WHO (1997) criteria and the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index (OHI-S). The carers’ knowledge of OH and attitudes to providing and the students’ knowledge and attitudes were assessed at baseline and again after 14 weeks with a questionnaire. Results: All 56 orphans (mean age 9.6 years, mean DMFT 2.39) living in the home participated and their mean OHI-S improved (1.40 to 0.80, p<0.0001). Fifty old people (mean age 75.9 years) participated, of whom 22 (44%) were edentulous. There was no significant improvement in mean OHI-S (p<0.10). The carers’ oral health knowledge improved (mean scores from 65 to 88, p<0.001) as did their attitude score (p<0.013). Students noted changes in their understanding of the needs of the carers, orphans and elderly people. Their perception of their capability to provide OH education or train others to do so, or their inclination to do so remained substantially unchanged. Conclusions: This pilot study met its aims suggesting that with suitable management, senior dental students can play a significant role in residential homes for orphans and old people by training carers and improving the residents’ oral hygiene. Further similar studies in other settings are indicated. Key words: oral health promotion, disadvantaged children, orphans, elderly, carers, dental students, Romania


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial 66-67 Download
Improving access to dental care for vulnerable children; further development of the Back2School programme in 2013 68-71 Download
Identifying dentists’ attitudes towards prevention guidance using Q-sort methodology 72-76 Download
Dentists’ knowledge of oral health during pregnancy: a review of the last 10 years’ publications 77-82 Download
A new capitation payment system in dentistry: the patients’ perspective 83-88 Download
A pilot project to improve the oral health of orphans and of the elderly in residential care in Constanta, Romania 89-92 Download
Caries experience among Romanian schoolchildren: prevalence and trends 1992-2011 93-97 Download
The association between parents’ perceived social norms for toothbrushing and the frequency with which they report brushing their child’s teeth 98-103 Download
Association between dental status and food diversity among older Japanese 104-110 Download
Are Stage of Change constructs relevant for subjective oral health in a vulnerable population? 111-116 Download
Human papillomavirus and oral cancer: a primer for dental public health professionals 117-128 Download


Online (Single user only)
Institution Online (IP address validation)

Back issues may be obtained from the publisher

Consider recommending subscription to your institution's library

You can view Open Access papers without a subscription.