Quality of Life of Caregiver and Oral Health of Special Needs Patients

Samanta Pereira de SOUZA, Alexandre da SILVA, Renata de Oliveira GUARÉ, Maria Teresa Botti Rodrigues SANTOS

Abstract


Objective: To evaluate the quality of life of primary caregivers of special needs patients and to verify whether it affects the patients’ oral health.
Method: This investigation was an exploratory descriptive study with cross-sectional design and quantitative approach. All caregivers of normal and disabled individuals attending the clinics of two universities and one rehabilitation center between September 2008 and June 2009 in the city of São Paulo were invited to participate in the study. The Study Group (SG) was composed by 27 special needs patients and the Control Group (CG) by 23 normal volunteers, aged 3 and 18 years, who were evaluated with respect to caries experience using the DMF-T (decayed, missing and filled teeth) index. The primary caregivers of the Control Group (CGC) and the Study Group (SGC) answered the short version of the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL-bref), which is composed by 26 multiple-choice questions comprising the following domains: Physical, Psychological, Social Relations and Environment. Statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS software using the WHOQOL-bref own syntax. Student’s t, Chi-Square and Fisher’s Exact tests were used. The significance level was set at 5%.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference (p>0.05) between the groups of caregivers for either quality of life or caries experience.
Conclusion: The quality of life of primary caregivers of special needs patients was not affected by the act of taking care of, and it was favorably reflected in the oral health of these individuals.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/pboci.v11i2.1441

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