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Postgrad Med J. 2000 Feb;76(892):89-91.

Oral care of elderly patients: nurses' knowledge and views.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Dental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L3 5PS, UK.

Abstract

It is important that healthcare professionals caring for the elderly in hospitals have a core knowledge of the orodental care requirements of their patients. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and views of nurses working on acute and rehabilitation care of the elderly wards about orodental care. One hundred nurses and healthcare assistants took part in this questionnaire study of which 58 were qualified nurses and 70 had been employed on care of the elderly wards for two or more years. Although the majority of the respondents were registered with a dentist and attended regularly, 40 did have 'some anxiety' about visiting their dentist. Approximately half of the study population regularly gave advice to their patients about dental care but their knowledge of and reasons for providing oral care and advice was often incorrect. The group's understanding of the availability of dental treatment provided by the National Health Service was also often inaccurate. It was concluded that a better core knowledge of the orodental care of older patients is required by all healthcare professionals who care for this group. It is also important that individuals in whom anxiety is associated with their own dental experience do not neglect to give orodental health advice to their patients.

PMID:
10644385
PMCID:
PMC1741504
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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