Xerostomia : Views among health care professionals and the main concern among afflicted adults

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Xerostomia : Views among health care professionals and the main concern among afflicted adults

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Publication Licentiate Thesis
Title Xerostomia : Views among health care professionals and the main concern among afflicted adults
Author(s) Folke, Solgun
Date 2010
English abstract
The aims of the two studies were to survey and describe views of xerostomia among health care professionals and to explore, among afflicted adults; the main concerns associated with xerostomia and attempted remedies. Two empirical studies with qualitative design were conducted. In Paper I, 16 participants were interviewed representing health care professionals with various exposures to patients with xerostomia. The data were subjected to qualitative content analysis. In Paper II, qualitative, conversational style interviews were conducted with 15 participants with subjective complaints of dry mouth. The grounded theory method was applied for data analysis. In the findings (Paper I), the latent content was formulated into a theme: Xerostomia is a well-known problem yet, there is inadequate management of patients with xerostomia. The findings identified three major categories expressing the manifest content: awareness of xerostomia, indifferent attitude, and insufficient support. Health care professionals recognised xerostomia as a common and escalating problem, particularly among elderly. Yet, the problem received little attention. In Paper II, a model was generated to elucidate the main concerns of xerostomia among afflicted individuals and how they handle various aspects of their condition. The core category was labelled: an aggravating misery, meaning that xerostomia has a devastating and debilitating impact on multiple domains of well-being. The model involves three different categories/remedial strategies, namely professional consultation, search for affirmation, and social withdrawal. All three categories express what the participants do to resolve their problems with xerostomia. In general, the participants perceived xerostomia as a burden and as a condition they were constantly reminded of. The participants also expressed a feeling of resignation due to lack of confirmation and support. The findings underscore that xerostomia is not a trivial condition for those afflicted. Oral impairment as well as physical and psychosocial consequences of xerostomia had negative impact on the participants´ qualitative of life. Health care professionals felt that xerostomia was an underestimated problem and that clinical symptoms and subsequent treatment were often ignored. The findings revealed that xerostomia is not only a predicament of the oral cavity but affects the individual as a whole. This is of particular concern among elderly as the occurrence of xerostomia increases with advancing age due to chronic diseases and adverse medications. In summary, it is essential to adopt a holistic view, and to provide additional education and improved interdisciplinary collaboration to manage and care for individuals suffering from xerostomia.
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Publisher Department of Oral Public Health, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University
Series/Issue Malmö University odontological dissertations
ISSN 1650-6065
ISBN 91-7104-104-0
Pages 53 p
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::ODONTOLOGY
Included papers
  1. Folke, S., Fridlund, B.,& Paulsson, G. (2009). Views of xerostomia among health care professionals: a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(6), 791-798.

  2. Folke, S., Paulsson, G., Fridlund, B., & Söderfeldt, B. (2009). The subjective meaning of xerostomia – an aggravating misery. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 4, 245-255.

Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10413 (link to this page)

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