Dental health and treatment needs in institutionalized psychiatric patients in Italy.

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1995 Dec;23(6):360-4.


Department of Hygiene, University of Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro, Italy.


The caries prevalence, oral hygiene status, periodontal health and the treatment needs were assessed in a group of institutionalized psychiatric patients in Catanzaro, Italy. Of the total sample of 297 subjects, 165 (55.6%) were males, the mean age was 55.1 yr, the great majority (90.6%) was able to care for themselves, on average they had been institutionalized for 12.9 yr, and almost two-thirds were schizophrenic (65%). They did not receive any assistance in daily oral hygiene procedures, only 7.4% had visited a dentist and exclusively for emergency care. A total of 33 (11.1%) patients were edentulous, and the multiple logistic regression analysis showed a highly significant increase of edentulousness with increasing age (P < 0.001). No caries-free subjects were found and among the dentate the DMFT and DMFS scores for all age groups were respectively 15.5 and 88.6. The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the mean DMFT index increased with age (t = 6.86; P < 0.001), and in the partly or totally helpless patients it was significantly higher than in the self-sufficient patients (t = 2.78; P = 0.006). Of the 264 dentate subjects, only 25 (9.5%) had no need ofdental treatment; 213 (80.7%) required extractions with a mean number per person of 6.3 and the need for conservative dental care was recorded in 154 (58.3%) patients with a mean need for patient of 2.8. Mean OHI-S score was 4.2 and the stepwise linear regression analysis showed that it increased with age (t = 5.73; P < 0.001) and with the length of institutionalization (t = 3.42; P < 0.001). Only 0.9% of the entire sample was found with healthy periodontal tissue; bleeding on probing or a higher score was found in 4.6% of examined sextants; calculus in 10.1%; shallow pockets and deep pockets in 19.6% and 64.8% of all sextants. The results of the multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that the number of subjects with deep pockets as highest score increased with increasing age (P<0.001), and with the increasing length of institutionalization (P=0.005). The findings of this study demonstrate high caries prevalence, poor oral hygiene and periodontal health, and extensive unmet needs for dental treatment. More coordinated efforts between the social and dental care sector must be maintained to serve adequately the need of this disadvantaged group.





[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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