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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2004 Jun;32(3):190-200.

Self-care intervention to reduce oral candidiasis recurrences in HIV-seropositive persons: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.



This single-blind randomized controlled pilot study evaluated the efficacy of a behavioral intervention program, PRO-SELF: Candidiasis, to reduce time to recurrence of oral candidiasis over 6 months in susceptible HIV-seropositive persons. The intervention involved instruction by dentists on improving oral hygiene, minimizing sugar intake, and self-diagnosing candidiasis.


Participants were adults with oral candidiasis responsive to antifungals who presented to the UCSF Stomatology Clinic between 1997 and 2000. At 2-3 weeks of follow-up visits, a dentist "examiner", masked to group assignment, quizzed participants as to the presence of candidiasis, and assessed candidiasis status. A second, unmasked dentist "instructor" then delivered the program to intervention participants. Participants recorded dietary and oral hygiene practices in 24-h recall diaries: intervention participants at each visit and controls at initial and final visits.


At randomization, CD4+ cell counts (cells/mm(3)) were 298 +/- 188 among 18 intervention participants and 396 +/- 228 among 17 controls. The candidiasis recurrence rates at 6 months were 78% among intervention compared with 88% among control participants (hazard ratio 0.72; 95% CI 0.35-1.50). Performing oral hygiene after meals/snacks showed the largest relative improvement: intervention-control difference in proportion of meals/snacks affected was 24% (95% CI -1 to 48%). Self-diagnoses of candidiasis were inaccurate, possibly because of mild episodes.


The results weakly indicate that regular instruction from healthcare professionals helps patients delay candidiasis recurrence by improving oral hygiene. Among HIV-seropositive persons, those with poor oral hygiene, and high-sugar diets are most likely to benefit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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