oral health

Dr Sarah Curtis, Co-Investigator of the study

Year by year, the population in the UK is getting older and the number of people with dementia in the UK is expected increase to over one million by the year 2025. As a result, there is a growing need to improve the quality of the life for older people living in the community with a dementia diagnosis as well as their carers. One if the key issues is to find out more information about the mouth and oral health.

We caught up with Dr Sarah Curtis, Social Anthropologist and Co-Investigator of the “Supporting Community Dwelling People with Dementia and their Carers with Oral Health” study.

What are the main aims of the study?

The main aim of this study is to learn more about the oral health practices and habits that exist, and how people think about their oral healthcare. We want to better understand how people think about oral health, the everyday challenges faced by them and how these are managed.

What does it involve for a participant?

Participants will have to complete a short questionnaire with 10 basic questions about the older person’s teeth and visits to the dentist. An hour’s recorded conversation about oral health will conclude a participant’s involvement with us.

Participants can withdraw their contribution up to two weeks after our conversation. There will be no adverse consequences if they decide not to participate.

How long is the study for? / Is it a one-off visit?

The study will be a one-off visit, held in a location and time that suits the participant.

What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

We are keen to learn about the existing oral health practices, and what strategies are used to cope, so the information gained from the person’s participation will help to raise awareness about current trends and issues. In this view, every contribution will have a positive and significant impact in realising this aim. We will use the data to improve services at the Dental Institute, at King’s College London. The finding of this research will also be used as starting point of a lager nationwide project on the same topic.

Where is the study based?

This study is based at the Dental Institute of King’s College London. Interviews can be made either in the King’s offices at Denmark Hill, Guy’s / St. Thomas’ hospital or in any location that participants may prefer, as long as it is quite enough to use a dictaphone.

Who can take part? (eligibility criteria)

We are looking for participants that have been diagnosed with dementia and live in a private residence, or that are carers of people living with dementia in a private residence. Participants should be able to communicate verbally, and should provide a written consent paperwork.

Do you want to check if you are eligible for this research, or find out which studies are recruiting in your area?

Sign up to Join Dementia Research.