I chose an article titled “Decayed and Missing Teeth and Oral-Health-Related-Factors: Predicting Depression in Homeless People”. The article was posted in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research: Volume 71 Issue 2, in August of 2011. This study was conducted in Scotland by five experimenters looking to determine the effect of dental health, dental anxiety, and oral-health-related quality of life upon homeless people and their depression. I chose this article because I found the study to be interesting and unique and I wished to learn more and see the results. According to the article written by Emma Coles, Karen Chan, Jenifer Collins, Gerry M.
Humphris, Derek Richards, Brian Williams, and Ruth Freeman (2011), a 2008-2009 statistic shows that 57,304 homeless households reported to the local authorities in rural Scotland that they needed financial assistance. One third of those households included members who have multiple and complex needs such as mental illness, drug and/or alcohol addictions, and physical disabilities. Many homeless people suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, loneliness, and depression due to unemployment and poverty. Because of poverty, most of the homeless population do not visit a dentist often and have decaying or missing teeth.
This study was conducted in order to see if poor oral health was a leading factor in their depression. Experimenters began by gathering a group of homeless people from the Scottish National Health Service (NHS) Board regions of Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Highland, Lanarkshire, Lothian, and Tayside. 853 gave their consent to take part, and of those 853, 74% were male. The age of the participants ranged from 16 to 67 years old. At the time, 27% admitted to using illicit substances and 20% stated they were injecting drug abusers.
The participants were given three questionnaires to determine levels of dental anxiety, oral health, and depression. Participants also received a dental health examination. Their oral health status was determined by the number of decaying and/or missing teeth, and also extracted teeth. The results of the dental anxiety examination suggested that one fifth of the homeless were categorized as being dentally phobic, meaning they were extremely anxious about having their teeth drilled and receiving a local anesthetic. The data of the dental exam showed that the average number of decayed teeth was 4. 8. The number of extracted teeth was 7. 58 and the number of teeth affected by decay was 15. 87. 24% of the participants reported frequent feelings of embarrassment due to the appearance of their mouth and teeth. Also, 12% stated they found their lives less satisfying at times because of oral health problems. The results of the depression questionnaire proved that 57% of the homeless population was suffering from a depressive illness. Overall, the study suggested that decaying and missing teeth were associated, in a few indirect ways, with depression in the homeless.
In this article, I learned that studies can be conducted to prove just about anything. If I had not read this article, this topic would have never crossed my mind. Also, I learned there are outrageous numbers of homeless people with poor oral and dental health residing in Scotland. In my opinion, the results of the study in depression of the homeless population were somewhat predictable, noting that appearance is a considerable factor of the causes of depression. I found the article informative and extremely detailed. It gave numerous statistics supporting the studies hypothesis and also the conclusion of the study.
It would be very useful to anyone interested in studying this topic. The study implies that the number of decaying and/or missing teeth does indeed contribute to depression in the homeless population. The statistics of this study also show that a generous amount of the participants reported feelings of embarrassment and rejection, which generally leads to feelings of depression, due to the amount of decaying and/or missing teeth that are present. Works Cited Coles, E. Chan, K. Collins, J. Humphris, G. M. Richards, D. Williams, B. Freeman, R. 2011) Decayed and Missing Teeth and Oral-Health-Related Factors: Predicting Depression in Homeless People. Journal of Psychosomatic Research Volume 71, Issue 2. http://qs7qk6ub8p. search. serialssolutions. com/? sid=EBSCO:ScienceDirect&genre=article&title=Journal+of+Psychosomatic+Research&atitle=Decayed+and+missing+teeth+and +oralhealthrelated+factors%3a+Predicting+depression+in+homeless+people&author=Emma+Coles&authors=Emma+Coles%3bKaren+Chan%3bJennifer+Collins%3bGerry+M. +Humphris%3bDerek+Richards%3bBrian+Williams%3bRuth+Freeman&date=20110101&volume=71&issue=2&spage=108&issn