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Nurse Educ Pract. 2011 Jul;11(4):256-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2010.11.017. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

An evidence-based oral hygiene education program for nursing staff.

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Oral Care AB, Stockholm, Sweden.


Increasing evidence shows strong statistical correlations between improved oral hygiene and reduction in the incidence, and mortality, from health care-associated pneumonia among elderly. Therefore, it is important that nursing staff are well educated in oral hygiene. The objective was to describe the design of a new oral hygiene educational program for nursing staff, where the theoretical parts of the education were integrated with evidence about the preventive effect of improved oral care on respiratory tract infections and health care-associated pneumonia among hospitalized or nursing home resident older people. An educational model was translated into three educational steps: hands-on training, group discussions, and a theoretical lecture including scientific evidence about the preventive effect of oral hygiene on respiratory tract infections, and health care-associated pneumonia, among older people. Evidence-based oral hygiene education seems to be a feasible way to increase the motivation for daily oral care tasks among nursing staff, and thus to improve the oral hygiene status among the nursing home resident elderly. Further studies are, however, needed to further evaluate the effect of evidence-based oral hygiene educations in different health care settings and over longer time periods.

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