Evaluation of an oral health education program for nursing personnel in special housing facilities for the elderly

Authors

  • Gun Paulsson RDH,

    Corresponding author
    1. staff of the Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University (Sweden) and the Department of Hospital Dentistry, Central Hospital, Odontologiska specialistkliniken, Länssjukhuset, 301 85 Halmstad, Sweden.
      Central Hospital.
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  • Bengt Fridlund RN, PhD,

    1. also the head of the Centre for Health Promotion Research, as well as an associate professor at the faculty of the Department of Primary Health Care, Göteborg University (Sweden).
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  • Anders Holmén Occup Hyg,

    1. with the Department of Research and Development, Central Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden.
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  • Tommy Nederfors DDS, PhD

    1. member of the Faculty of Odontology, Göteborg university (Sweden), as well as the Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University, and the head of the Department of Hospital Dentistry, Central Hospital, Halmstad.
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Central Hospital.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of an oral health education program (OHEP) on attitudes among the responsible nursing personnel toward performing oral health procedures for care receivers. A total of 2882 nursing personnel were offered participation in the OHEP, and the effect was evaluated by means of a questionnaire distributed pre-educationally as well as 1–2 months post-educationally. The nursing personnel were allocated, on the basis of nursing education, to either a “high level of health care education group (HHCE), including registered and enrolled nurses, or a”low level of health care education“group (LHCE), including nursing assistants and home care aides. Statistical analysis was performed by means of descriptive and analytical statistics. After the OHEP, the nursing personnel estimated their ability to perform oral hygiene procedures for care receivers to be significantly increased. Post-educationally, a significant shift in importance was observed from knowledge regarding the diseased oral cavity to knowledge regarding the healthy oral cavity. It was also observed that, in the LHCE group, the OHEP favored practical procedures, while in the HHCE group, theoretical considerations were favored. This indicates that, when oral health education programs are designed, due attention should be paid to the nursing personnel's education level.

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