Defining oral neglect in institutionalized elderly: A consensus definition for the protection of vulnerable elderly people

Ralph V. Katz, Barbara J. Smith, Douglas B. Berkey, Adela Guset, Michael P. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The authors administered surveys to develop an operational definition of oral neglect in institutionalized elderly (ONiIE) in the United States. Methods. The authors administered a Delphi technique survey involving three rounds to a panel of 19 geriatric dental experts in 1995 to arrive at a definition of ONiIE. The authors validated the 1995 ONiIE definition by administering a Delphi technique survey involving four rounds to a subset of eight experts from the 1995 panel. Results. The panelists in the 2009 survey validated the 28 oral diseases or conditions that were part of the 1995 ONiIE definition and added one new oral condition-bleeding. They also reached consensus agreement for each of the 29 listed oral diseases and conditions regarding both the diagnostic stage at which those diseases and conditions should be included in a definition (mild, moderate, or severe) and the specified time period required to constitute neglect (that is, total "time to qualify as neglect" was eight days for acute conditions and 35 days for chronic conditions). Conclusions. An expert-driven consensus ONiIE definition was established. It consists of 29 oral diseases and conditions, each of which has been associated with a diagnostic stage and a specified time period required to constitute neglect. Clinical Implications. Since federal legislation that funds payments to nursing homes for the care and housing of their residents requires that there shall be no oral neglect, this validated consensus ONiIE definition provides a utilitarian means to enforce that legislative expectation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Volume141
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Access to care
  • Dental public health
  • Geriatrics
  • Health promotion
  • Human rights
  • Nursing homes
  • Public policy
  • Social responsibility
  • Special care dentistry
  • Utilization of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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