Differences in Elderly and Non-Elderly Outpatient Subjective Evaluation of "Easy-to-Eat Meals" after Dental Treatment
The Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College
Dental treatment improves the experience of eating by healing illnesses in the oral cavity or through the installation of special devices. However, mastication can often prove difficult for short periods of time after dental treatment, potentially limiting the types of food that can be consumed. Therefore, we proposed a highly nutritious meal strategy for dental outpatients (hereafter, "easy-to-eat meals"). We previously reported patients' subjective assessment of these easy-to-eat meals as
... to-eat meals as determined through a questionnaire survey. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how differences in age affected such assessments. The study participants comprised patients scheduled to undergo dental treatment. They were divided into 2 groups: one of patients aged above and one of those aged below 70 years. All were required to consume provided easy-to-eat meals at the dental hospital directly after treatment and then answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire included items on patient satisfaction with the meals, taste, portion size, convenience, reduction in discomfort, and whether they would consume them again. The format of the questionnaire was a visual analog scale (VAS), ranging from 0 (negative) to 10 (positive). Portion size was to be rated on a scale from 0 ("Not enough") to 10 ("Too much"), with 5 being "Just right". Correlations between the questionnaire items were investigated to determine how they influenced each other. The VAS average for "Reduction in discomfort" was 8.45±1.39 in the non-elderly group and 6.07±2.92 in the elderly group, and the difference was significant (p=0.02); the VAS average for "Taste" was 6.49±2.32 in the non-elderly group and 4.91±0.98 in the elderly group, and the difference was significant (p=0.04). The results of this study suggest that providing such meal plans as nutritional guidance after dental treatment can influence quality of life in elderly patients.