Testing tooth brushing ability of elderly patients

Robert Felder, Marge Reveal, Sherry Lemon, Claudia Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


An individual's ability to perform adequate oral care may become jeopardized by medical and physical insults associated with the aging process. Declines in oral care abilities may be difficult to identify, and usually go unnoticed and unaddressed. This study examined a tool developed to assess tooth brushing ability in elderly patients. The Tooth brushing Ability Test (TAT) was examined for its ability to predict brushing effectiveness (measured by plaque levels) and to determine its interrater and intrarater reliability. Fifty‐eight dentate subjects, age 65 and older, from the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a community nursing home participated. Results showed highly significant Spearman correlations between TAT scores and plaque levels (r = 0.719; p < 0.000). Correlations also revealed high interrater (r = 0.87) and intrarater reliability (r = 0.82). The results suggest that the TAT is a practical and effective screening tool for assessing oral self‐care ability in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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