Challenges in geriatric oral health research methodology concerning caregivers of cognitively impaired elderly adults

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Spec Care Dentist

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Special care in dentistry

PubMed ID


Start Page


End Page



Little is known about oral health care behaviors of community-dwelling, cognitively impaired elderly (CIE) persons. Few studies have been conducted regarding the actual provision of oral care for CIE persons or the attitudes and concerns about oral health among their caregivers. The CIE person's ability to perform self-care decreases over time, and the role of the caregiver in daily oral care becomes increasingly important. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the attitudes toward oral health and identify related concerns among caregivers who care for community-dwelling CIE persons. Caregivers were surveyed by means of a self-administered, mailed questionnaire. To maintain confidentiality, an intermediary was used for recruitment and data collection. Overall, 148 caregivers were invited by an intermediary to participate in the survey; only 21 (14%) consented to participate and returned the questionnaire. This paper discusses some of the numerous methodological challenges identified when an attempt was made to survey care-givers' attitudes toward and barriers to providing oral care for a dependent CIE.


Activities of Daily Living, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Attitude of Health Personnel, Caregivers/psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dental Care for Aged, Dental Care for Disabled, Female, Health Services Research, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pilot Projects, Questionnaires

Published Article/Book Citation

Special care in dentistry, 17:4 (1997) pp.129-132.

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