Elderly with high level of self-efficacy have good gingival health, finds study

Older adults with a high level of self-efficacy have good
gingival health according to a recent study published in the Journal of

The objectives of this study were to determine the
relationship between reported self-efficacy and dental status in older adults,
identify factors which might influence self-efficacy and, their willingness to
pay (WTP) for preventive care.

Participants aged 60–90 years of age living in Singapore
were recruited. All participants completed an oral health questionnaire and a
clinical examination. Details of participants’ socio-economic status and
educational attainment were collected, and participants also answered a range
of questions related to self-efficacy, oral health attitudes, beliefs and
dental attendance patterns. Participants were asked to indicate their
willingness to pay for preventive care using contingent valuation. The clinical
examination recorded decayed, missing and filled teeth [DMFT], root caries,
periodontal attachment loss, bleeding on probing index, occlusal status and,
denture wearing status. Associations between self-efficacy, self-report and
clinical variables were assessed using Kendall’s Tau B coefficient.


614 participants [mean age 68.07 (5.99) years]
were recruited. There was a high level of dental awareness and
nearly 70% of the participants reported visiting a dentist once or twice a
year. Self-efficacy was associated with levels of
bleeding on probing and self-reported satisfaction with oral health. Nearly 60%
of participants were not willing to pay for preventive advice from an oral
healthcare professional.

Thus, Older adults with a high level of self-efficacy had
good gingival health, with low reported levels of bleeding on probing.
Participants with low reported self-efficacy had higher disease levels and were
less satisfied with their oral health. Self-efficacy in relation to oral
hygiene practices is variable, and participants with low self-efficacy had
higher gingival bleeding scores. However, willingness to pay for preventive
advice is low, and further work is required to increase the value proposition
of preventive care to older adults.


The relationship between self-efficacy and oral health
status of older adults by Finbarr Allen et al. published in the Journal of


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