Purpose: To investigate the effects of oral care education on knowledge, attitudes & behavior of caregivers in oral care and oral hygiene for residents in nursing homes.
Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, the intervention group (n=27) of residents received oral care from intervention group caregivers (n=28) who had received 6 weeks of oral care education. The control group (n=27) of residents received usual oral care from control group caregivers (n=26). Data on knowledge, attitude, and behavioral change in oral health care by the caregivers and plaque index & halitosis of the residents were collected. Data were analyzed using SPSS WIN 16.0.
Results: 1) Scores on caregivers' knowledge (p<.001) and behavior (p<.001) for oral care were higher in the intervention group 6 and 12 weeks. The caregivers' attitude (p<.001) score for oral care was higher in the intervention group 12 weeks. 2) The plaque index (p=.004) and halitosis (p=.002) of the nursing home residents were lower in the intervention group than the control group at 6 and 12 weeks.
Conclusion: Oral care education programs for caregivers are effective in improving the oral hygiene of elderly residents in nursing homes through enhancement of caregivers' knowledge, attitude, and behavioral change.