The role of basic oral care and good clinical practice principles in the management of oral mucositis

Support Care Cancer. 2006 Jun;14(6):541-7. doi: 10.1007/s00520-006-0051-8. Epub 2006 Apr 25.


Background: The Basic Oral Care Group is one of eight subcommittees functioning within the Mucositis Study Group Guidelines Panel of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society for Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO). The Basic Oral Care Group, comprised of the four authors of this paper, represented the disciplines of nursing (DBM, JJ), dentistry (MEPC), and pediatric dentistry (PW). This group reviewed research and clinical literature to update the original 2004 Mucositis Management Guidelines in the areas of basic oral care, bland rinses, protocols and education, and good clinical practices such as pain management, oral assessment, oral care, and dental care.

Materials and methods: Over 100 articles published between 2000 and 2005 were identified, and 32 of these were useful for the analysis. Each article was rated by at least two authors using a structured rating form and systematic determination of levels of evidence, based on the American Society of Clinical Oncology criteria. Discussion at the 2005 MASCC/ISOO Geneva pre-conference meeting of the Guidelines Panel resulted in the development of consensus on the interpretation of the literature.

Results: Based on the literature and on Panel discussions, a revision of the original guidelines for protocols and education was produced by the group, and they developed a set of recommendations related to good clinical practices.

Conclusions: Although research remains scanty for components of basic oral care, bland rinses, protocols, and education, the original 2004 guidelines with the help of newer literature from 2000 to 2005 and expert consensus among the Guidelines Panel enabled the development of useful clinical practice guidelines for managing oral mucositis in patients receiving cancer treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Dental Care / methods
  • Dental Care / standards
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Medical Oncology / standards
  • Mouthwashes
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Oral Hygiene / methods*
  • Oral Hygiene / standards
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Research Design
  • Stomatitis / etiology
  • Stomatitis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Mouthwashes