Background: Stroke patients often suffer from dysphagia during their recovery. We hypothesised that subacute stroke patients with dysphagia had more deteriorated oral health status including muscle strength and motor function. Objective: Quantitatively investigate oral health status and identify associations with oral feeding status in stroke patients admitted to a convalescent rehabilitation unit. Methods: We prospectively recruited 187 stroke patients admitted to a convalescent rehabilitation unit. Oral feeding status was examined using the Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS), and the cohort was divided into three groups based on FOIS score as non-oral feeding (FOIS-123; 22 patients), dysphagic diet (FOIS-45; 74 patients), and regular diet (FOIS-67; 91 patients) groups. Activities of daily living (ADL) were assessed with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Oral health status was measured quantitatively in six oral function parameters and Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT), and differences according to the FOIS, age and FIM were statistically tested. Results: In bivariate analysis, two parameters, tongue pressure and tongue-lip motor functions were significantly higher in the regular diet group than in the other groups (P <.01). Gross OHAT score was also significantly better in the regular diet group than in the other groups (P <.01). These significant associations mostly remained in the multiple model after adjusting for age and FIM. Conclusion: This study suggests that, amongst oral health status, tongue strength and motor function, as well as OHAT score, may have strong associations with oral feeding status in subacute stroke patients at convalescent rehabilitation units regardless of ADL levels.
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