Nursing education and improvement in oral care delivery in long-term care

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009 Nov;10(9):658-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2009.09.001. Epub 2009 Oct 12.


Objective: To determine if a facility-wide oral care educational program will improve the quality of routine oral care provided to nursing home residents.

Design: Single-blind, pre-post observational study of direct caregivers providing routine oral care to residents in 2 nursing homes.

Intervention: A 30-minute oral care program including lecture, demonstration, and hands-on skill training led by a research-trained dental hygienist.

Results: Twenty-eight subjects were observed during 110 pre- and 119 posteducation oral care encounters. One third of the subjects attended the facility-wide oral education program. Most facility residents were cooperative during oral care delivery. The average length of brushing to the teeth or dentures was 52 seconds and total time for oral care delivery was 2minutes after the educational program. Approximately half of the residents received tooth or denture care with both toothbrush and paste, half had tongue cleansing performed and half received oral rinsing with water. One resident received flossing of the teeth. One third of the oral care encounters were performed without the use of gloves. There were no significant changes in any oral care activities after the educational intervention.

Conclusion: The oral care educational program did not result in improvement in the delivery of routine oral care to nursing home residents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / standards*
  • Long-Term Care / trends
  • Male
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Oral Hygiene / education*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prospective Studies