Aim: To systematically review all studies on assessment tools used to diagnose oral frailty in older adults.
Materials and methods: A systematic search of PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus for articles yielded the tools published from January 2010 to January 2022. The search included articles reporting the use of the Oral Frailty risk assessment tool in older adults. A standardized protocol Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) was used for data extraction. Flowchart and tables were used to demonstrate the results.
Results: A total of 19 studies were eligible out of 58 studies retrieved from selected databases. A total of three tools were structured for oral frailty assessment in older adults as follows: Oral and maxillofacial frailty index, oral frailty index-8 (OFI-8), and oral frailty checklist. The most critical parameter in assessing oral frailty was tongue pressure and dryness of the mouth. Other parameters for assessing oral frailty include the number of remaining teeth, oral diadochokinesis (ODK), masticatory performance, pain, dysphagia, taste alteration, use of dentures, bacterial count in the tongue coat, and presence or absence of periodontitis. The predictive validity of tools for differentiating high and low risks for oral frailty did not explore yet.
Conclusion: There has not been much research into assessment tools for oral frailty. This comprehensive review of the available literature identified only three structured assessment tools as follows: The oral frailty checklist, the oral and maxillofacial frailty index, and OFI-8. The oral frailty checklist is the only available validated oral frailty assessment tool despite the disproportionately high prevalence of oral frailty and the projected increase.
Clinical significance: Because an oral function examination for the elderly in their 60s is required to promote effective oral frailty countermeasures, an oral frailty assessment tool appropriate for the setting must be developed. This tool can be used as a population-wide standard of practice for screening oral frailty.
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