Title: Correlation between oral health in disabled children and depressive symptoms in their mothers
Abstract: Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence and degree of depressive symptoms in mothers of disabled children and to assess the correlation between maternal major depression risk and son/daughter oral health.
Materials and methods A prospective study was conducted in 51 disabled children and their 51 mothers. In children dmft/DMFT values, food and/or sugar-sweetened consumption levels and daily tooth brushing frequency were evaluated. Depressive maternal symptoms were measured by EDPS questionnaire: the questionnaire scores were converted into positive predictive values (PPV) that represented the risk of falling into major depression. A regression analysis was performed on the variables (statical significance was set at p value ≤ 0.05).
Results Children (8.68 ±3.98 years old) average dmft/DMFT was 2.7. Fifty three percent of the mothers (38.37 ± 6.04 years) were at risk for depression (PPV>60%), while depressive symptoms were already present in 25% of the subjects (PPV=100%).
Discussion and conclusion Mothers of disabled children are more likely to fall into major depression compared to mothers of healthy children. For each mother-child couple the correlation between different variables was evaluated: there was a statistically significant correlation between children’s dmft/DMFT values and mothers’ depression risk. The risk of maternal depression was statistically correlated to prevalence of caries and sugar consumption in children.