The Effects of an Oral Care Program on Oral Health of Institutionalized Elderly

Friday, 25 July 2014

Chia-Chi Chang, PhD, RN
School of Gerontology Health Management, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
Jih-Hsuan Wu, RN, MS
Department of Nursing, I Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Purpose: Institutionalized elderly overlooked the oral care because of multiple chronic diseases and decline self-care skills, impact the oral health quality of life, oral health status and nutritional status, resulting in oral-related diseases. There are few oral care program interventions.  The purpose of this study was to develop an oral care program and to examine the effects of this program among institutionalized elderly.

Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study.  Fifty-five convenience subjects were recruited from two northern long-term care facilities, randomly assigned to the experimental group (n = 24) and the control group(n = 30). The experimental group received four weeks of oral health programs, the control group received routine oral care. Data were collected pre- and post-tests including demographic variables, general health status, subjective oral health status, and objective oral health status. Subjective oral health status was measured by Oral Health Impact Scale -14 (OHIP-14) and objective oral health status were measured by plaque status and oral health assessment tool (OHAT). The data were analyzed by SPSS 19.0 for Windows.

Results: The study results showed that the experimental group had improve significantly with OHAT results (F = 21.094, p <.01), plaque status (F = 4.438, p <.05),and reduce the feeding time (F = 5.372, p <.05).

Conclusion: Therefore the oral care program should be recommended in the future in  long-term care facilities in order to promote the oral health and improve the quality of life.