The primary purpose of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of an intervention designed to reduce care-resistant behaviors (CRBs) in persons with moderate-to-severe dementia during oral hygiene activities.
The intervention, Managing Oral Hygiene Using Threat Reduction (MOUTh), combined best oral hygiene practices with CRB reduction techniques. Oral health was operationalized as the total score obtained from the Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT). CRB was measured using a refinement of the Resistiveness to Care Scale. Seven nursing home residents with dementia received twice daily mouth care for 14 days. The baseline OHAT mean score of 7.29 (SD = 1.25) improved to 1.00 (SD = 1.26, p < .001); CRB improved from 2.43 CRBs/minute (SD = 4.26) to 1.09 CRBs/minute (SD = 1.56, t = 1.97, df 41, p= .06).
The findings from this pilot study suggest that the MOUTh intervention is feasible and reduced CRBs, thus allowing more effective oral care.