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Assessment of oral health in older adults by non-dental professional caregivers-development and validation of a photograph-supported oral health-related section for the interRAI suite of instruments

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: An optimized oral health-related section and a video training were developed and validated for the interRAI suite of instruments. The latter is completed by professional non-dental caregivers and used in more than 40 countries to assess care needs of older adults. METHODS: The optimized oral health-related section (ohr-interRAI) consists of nine items and a video training that were developed in consecutive phases. To evaluate psychometric properties, a study was conducted in 260 long-term care residents. Each resident was assessed by a dentist and by four caregivers (two who received the video training, two who did not). RESULTS: Mean kappa values and percent agreement between caregivers and dentist ranged between κ = 0.60 (80.2%) for dry mouth and κ = 0.13 (54.0%) for oral hygiene. The highest inter-caregiver agreement was found for dry mouth with κ = 0.63 [95% CI: 0.56-0.70] (81.6%), while for the item palate/lips/cheeks only κ = 0.27 [95% CI: 0.18-0.36] (76.7%) was achieved. Intra-caregiver agreement ranged between κ = 0.93 [95% CI: 0.79-1.00] (96.4%) for dry mouth and κ = 0.45 [95% CI: 0.06-0.84] (82.8%) for gums. Logistic regression analysis showed only small differences between caregivers who watched the video training and those who did not. CONCLUSIONS: Psychometric properties of the optimized ohr-interRAI section were improved compared to previous versions. Nevertheless, particularly the items based on inspection of the mouth require further refinement and caregiver training needs to be improved. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Valid assessment of oral health by professional caregivers is essential due to the impaired accessibility of regular dental care for care-dependent older adults.
ISSN: 1432-6981
Issue: 6
Volume: 25
Pages: 3475 - 3486