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Periodontitis from the patient's perspective, a qualitative study.

Journal article
Authors E Karlsson
U-B Lymer
Magnus Hakeberg
Published in International journal of dental hygiene
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 23-30
ISSN 1601-5037
Publication year 2009
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 23-30
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Anxiety, psychology, Attitude to Health, Dentist-Patient Relations, Fear, psychology, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Learning, Male, Middle Aged, Oral Health, Oral Hygiene, Patient Participation, Periodontitis, diagnosis, prevention & control, psychology, Professional Role, Quality of Life, Self Concept, Tooth Loss, psychology
Subject categories Odontological behavioural science


Periodontitis is an infectious disease that impacts people's oral health and can lead to the loss of teeth. There are several factors that explain why some people develop this disease. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to describe patients' perceptions of living with periodontitis. METHOD: A qualitative method inspired by phenomenography was chosen, because the focal point was the patients' perceptions of this phenomenon. A total of 10 patients, all of whom were being treated at a specialist clinic for periodontology in the south of Sweden, were interviewed. RESULTS: Two main categories were identified: perceptions of disease and perceptions of having the disease under control, together with subcategories. The first category highlights the patients' perception of what causes periodontitis, being given the diagnosis, after the diagnosis and the consequences of periodontitis. The other main category highlights the patients' perception of their own responsibility and the professionals' responsibility. The patients' oral health-related quality of life had been influenced by periodontitis. There is no guarantee that the patient has understood what is actually required of him/her during treatment, despite information about the diagnosis. It can often take some time for patients to understand the nature of their disease. CONCLUSION: Acceptance and control of the disease result in less inconvenience in the patients' daily lives. It creates an optimistic future perspective, despite feelings of anxiety about facing consequences such as tooth loss.

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