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Vojnosanit Pregl. 2016 Jul;73(7):668-73. doi: 10.2298/VSP141001065S.

Caregivers’ attitudes, knowledge and practices of oral care at nursing homes in Serbia.



Within the elderly population, residents in nursing homes, there is a greather risk of caries, periodontal disease and teeth loss. Assistance of caregivers in maintaininig good oral hygiene besides improving oral health can improve of residents general health and the qulity of their lives. The aim of this study was to examine the attitudes of caregivers and knowledge about oral health, as well as the practice regarding oral care they apply at nursing homes in Serbia.


The survey was conducted at the Gerontology Center Belgrade, consisting of four nursing homes located in the urban area. The study included 58 caregivers. They were contacted on working days, in all work shifts, during January, February and March of 2013. They were asked to fill in a self-administered questionnaire consisting of 26 closed-type questions.


The caregivers mostly considered that it was very important to take care of oral health of the residents, but 69% responded that the level of their oral health was low or very low. As the main barriers to oral hygiene maintenance, the caregivers indicated lack of time. The caregivers had more knowledge about periodontal disease than about the main cause of caries and its prevention. Formal medical education had the influence on the knowledge about oral diseases. Oral hygiene procedures carried out by the mayority of caregivers were denture cleaning and tooth brushing.


The caregivers were aware of the limitations in everyday oral care of nursing homes residents in Serbia, although solving these problems requires the involvement of the entire public health service.

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