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Gerodontology. 2007 Dec;24(4):224-30.

Quality of oral health services in residential care: towards an evaluation framework.

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1
Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is widespread neglect of oral healthcare, and uncertainty about how best to organise and evaluate the impact of oral health services in long-term care (LTC) facilities. Consequently, there is need for an evaluation framework to improve and account for the quality of oral healthcare in the facilities.

OBJECTIVES:

This paper: (i) identifies basic concepts of quality of care and evaluation in healthcare; (ii) reviews the methods used to evaluate the operation and effectiveness of oral healthcare in LTC facilities and (iii) recommends change to assure oral health-related quality and accountability for frail elders.

METHOD:

A literature review provided insights to the theoretical basis and practical applications for assessing the quality of healthcare relevant to oral healthcare for frail elders.

RESULTS:

Oral health-related programmes in LTC facilities could be improved by using a combination of quality assurance and health programme evaluation that: (i) engages everyone involved; (ii) seeks multiple attributes of quality; (iii) evaluates the structure, process or activities, and outcome of the oral health programme; (iv) uses formative and summative methods to provide both quantitative and qualitative evidence of care and (v) transfers new knowledge for appropriate consideration and action.

CONCLUSIONS:

This theoretical framework can be applied in dentistry in LTC to provide an assessment model specific to oral healthcare for frail elders in residential care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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