Objective: Oral function disorders occur often in older people with increasing age. Oral function disorders affect bodily function and self-esteem, which are related to quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an oral function intervention programme on the oral function of older Taiwanese people. Materials and Methods: A one-group pretest-post-test study design was used. A total of 529 older Taiwanese people (women, 68.2%; men, 31.8%; average age, 75.07 ± 5.95 years) participated in this study. The oral function intervention programme consisted of a brief oral health education programme and oral function exercises. The total test period was 8 months. The oral condition and function examination comprised two questionnaires (self-reported symptoms of oral function disturbance and the Geriatric/General Oral Health Assessment Index [GOHAI]) and three oral function assessments (Repetitive Saliva Swallowing Test [RSST], Oral Diadochokinesia Test [ODT] and Cheek Expanding Test [CET]). Results: After the oral function intervention, the self-reported symptoms on the oral function questionnaire and GOHAI showed significant improvement (P < 0.05). Additionally, RSST, ODT and CET showed differences between pretest and post-test measurements (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The oral function intervention programme was effective in maintaining their feeding, swallowing and articulatory functions of older Taiwanese people. Significant improvements in self-reported symptoms of oral function and GOHAI scores indicated that the oral function intervention programme might improve the QOL of older Taiwanese people.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology