The subjective meaning of xerostomia—an aggravating misery

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Folke, Solgun ; Paulsson, Gun ; Fridlund, Bengt ; Söderfeldt, Björn (2010)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being (issn: 1748-2631, eissn: 1748-2631)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/qhw.v4i4.5020
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: otorhinolaryngologic diseases | stomatognathic diseases | stomatognathic system

Xerostomia, the subjective sensation of dry mouth, is associated with qualitative and quantitative changes of saliva. Poor health, certain medications and radiation therapy constitute major risk factors. To gain further understanding of this condition the present study explored the main concern of xerostomia expressed by affl icted adults. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 participants and analysed according to the grounded theory method. An aggravating misery was identifi ed as the core category, meaning that the main concern of xerostomia is its devastating and debilitating impact on multiple domains of well-being. Professional consultation, search for affi rmation and social withdrawal were strategies of management. The fi ndings reveal that xerostomia is not a trivial condition for those suffering. Oral impairment as well as physical and psychosocial consequences of xerostomia has a negative impact on quality of life. There is an obvious need to enhance professional competence to improve the compassion for and the support of individuals affl icted by xerostomia. Key words: Grounded theory, oral health related quality of life, well-being, xerostomia.
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