A qualitative analysis of denture wearing experience affecting the quality of life of older adults

Priscila de Moraes Flores, Rodrigo Kern, Alexandre da Silva Tedesco, Erico Fabbro Teixeira,Roger Keller Celeste,Mario Brondani,Cristiane Machado Mengatto

Clinical Oral Investigations(2023)

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Objective To explore how denture-related experiences affect older adults’ quality of life using a qualitative assessment of the Oral Health Impact Profile for Edentulous individuals (OHIP-Edent). Materials and methods Twenty elderly individuals were interviewed before and 3 months after delivering new complete dentures, using an open-ended interview guide based on the OHIP-Edent. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were open coded and thematically analyzed following a Grounded Theory approach. Findings were integrated and constantly compared to understand the interviewees’ difficulties, beliefs, and perceptions. Results Three interconnected themes were developed: functional and psychosocial impairments, and coping strategies. Even when posed as an open-ended format, the wording of some OHIP-Edent items was confusing while others were not relevant to the respondents. New categories related to speaking, smiling, swallowing, emotional and functional coping emerged from the interviews. Interviewees adapted to chewing and swallowing difficulties through food avoidance, modification of food choice and preparation techniques, and changes in dietary behaviors. Conclusions Denture wearing is a daily challenging experience that encompasses various functional and psychosocial aspects and sheds light on the need for addressing the coping strategies employed by patients, as the current OHIP-Edent items may not fully represent other deemed important aspects of the quality of life of individuals who wear dentures. Clinical relevance Dentists must not solely rely on structured questionnaires to explore the impact of denture wearing and treatment outcomes. Clinicians can use a more holistic approach to comprehend older adults’ experiences with dentures including advice about coping mechanisms, food preparation techniques, and meal planning.
Complete Denture, Prosthodontics, Nutritional Status, Quality of Life, Aged
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