C.ANG1, S.YEE2, N.IDAYU2, C.L.SEE1, M.M.N.A.GUNATILAKE1
Yishun Community Hospital1, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital2
Microorganisms in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of aspiration pneumonia in patients with dysphagia, especially post-stroke. Studies have shown that good oral care can reduce this risk and nurses play a key role in providing adequate care, patient education and caregiver training. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of oral health education on knowledge, attitudes and practices among nursing staff in a stroke rehabilitation ward at a community hospital in Singapore.
The subjects were 28 nurses from the stroke rehabilitation ward in Yishun Community Hospital. A questionnaire was distributed to assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding oral care before and after attending an oral health education programme.
Mean knowledge scores improved by 15% and majority of participants expressed that theoretical knowledge is important to perform good oral care. Before and after the oral health education programme, an average of 70% of participants felt confident in performing and training caregivers in conducting oral care. Prior to programme, about half of participants found oral care to be challenging. This decreased by almost 20% after intervention. Key barriers identified included resistance from patients, inadequate time and resistance from caregivers.
Nurses agreed that oral health education is important in providing good oral care. They expressed that there are key barriers impacting the provision of oral care in the ward. With the gaps in knowledge, attitudes and practices identified in this study, further multidisciplinary research can be undertaken to improve oral care practices.