Perceptions of older people’s oral health care among nurses working in geriatric home care
Aro, Taru; Laitala, Marjo; Syrjälä, Anna-Maija; Laitala, Marja-Liisa; Virtanen, Jorma I. (2018-01-15)
Taru Aro, Marjo Laitala, Anna-Maija Syrjälä, Marja-Liisa Laitala & Jorma I. Virtanen (2018) Perceptions of older people’s oral health care among nurses working in geriatric home care, Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 76:6, 427-432, DOI: 10.1080/00016357.2018.1425900
© 2018 Acta Odontologica Scandinavica Society. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica on 15 Jan 2018, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/00016357.2018.1425900
Objectives: This study investigates nurses’ self-reported experiences and perceptions of older people’s oral health care using a qualitative method.
Methods: We interviewed 10 nurses working in geriatric home care who regularly visit and take care of older people in their homes. The interviews consisted of semi-structured questions. The interviews were then transcribed and analysed.
Results: All nurses were aware of the connection between oral health and general health, but more detailed knowledge about oral health was lacking and confidence in oral health care practices was limited. Many of the interviewees noted the cleaning of removable dentures and problems related to them, but did not mention anything about periodontal diseases. Oral health education among the nurses was rare. The nurses reported lack of time to take care of their clients’ oral health. As possible development steps, the interviewees suggested that including oral health care in the daily treatment plan would improve oral health care practices.
Conclusions: The nurses’ lack of knowledge about oral health care and uncertainty in oral health practices among older people are major problems in daily geriatric home care. Oral health education and confidence in oral health practices should be improved in both basic and on-the-job education.
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