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We engaged in a project to develop a questionnaire to measure cognitive variables in oral health behavior among the elderly. When developing an effective program of oral health promotion for elderly people, it is very important to understand how their cognitive activity affects their health behavior. This study was aimed at discerning cognitive patterns which might affect health behavior and developing a questionnaire for measuring cognitive variables. <Subjects and Methods> The first study had 93 participants who had enrolled in an oral health check program at a community College for Senior Students, and who agreed to take part in the research. The participants were questioned about their approach to oral health, and their answers were then analyzed qualitatively. Based on the results, a self-reported questionnaire was designed, and specialists consulted. The questionnaire was then submitted to 215 persons over 60 years old, in order to evaluate the constituent factors. <Results and Discussion> Facilitators of oral health behavior were categorized as follows: Underpinning belief and norm, avoiding painful experiences, dealing with the problem faced, feeling of effects, following advice, and habits. Barriers to positive oral health behavior were categorized as: Lack of concern about oral health, belief and norm, and difficulty with continuation. Based on the results, the data were grouped under overall headings, namely concern about oral health, underpinning belief and norm, fear of painful experiences, facing the existence of the problem, feelings of effects and following advice. The questionnaire had a total of 24 questions using a 5-point Likert-type scale. After an explanatory factor analysis, five factors with 22 items were indicated to be the best fitting model. These were: Positive underpinning belief and norm, following advice on oral problems, resignation regarding oral health, feelings of effects, and confidence in oral health. Though the questionnaire was drawn up to measure the cognitive variables effecting the health behaviors of elderly people, further studies would be needed to uncover the relationship between the cognitivefactors found through our study and actual health behavior.


  • University of Hyogo, College of Nursing Art and Science, Research Institute of Nursing Care for People and Community bulletin

    University of Hyogo, College of Nursing Art and Science, Research Institute of Nursing Care for People and Community bulletin 15, 107-118, 2008


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