Oral health and nutritional status in a group of geriatric rehabilitation patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aims of this study were to evaluate the oral health status and nutritional status in a group of geriatric rehabilitation patients, and to analyse the relationship between these two parameters. Nurses at the ward performed structured assessments of oral and nutritional status using the Revised Oral Assessment Guide and the Subjective Global Assessment form in 223 newly admitted patients. Most oral health problems were found among patients who stayed longer at the hospital and were more dependent on help as compared with the healthier patients. Thirty-four per cent of the patients were either severely undernourished, at risk or suspected to be undernourished (UN). Oral health problems were more common among UN patients (p < 0.0005) compared with well-nourished patients. The most frequent oral health problem was found on teeth or dentures (48%). Problems related to the tongue and lips were also common among UN patients (56 and 44%, respectively). Oral health status was correlated (r = 0.32) to nutritional status. Problems with swallowing had the strongest association to the nutritional status (OR 6.05; 95% CI 2.41-15.18). This study demonstrated that poor oral health status was related to undernourishment.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • undernourishment, oral health status, guide, oral assessment, geriatric rehabilitation patients, nutritional status
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch