Awareness and Attitude of Nurses to Oral Health Care for Hospitalized Patients

Ye-ji Lee1   Eun-Sil Choi2,*   

1Dental Hygiene, NYU College of Dentistry, 345 East 24th st 6th Fl. New York, NY 10010, United States
2Beauty Smile Dental Clinic, Banwol Medical Tower, 359, Jungang-daero, Jung-gu, Daegu, 41967, Korea


Objective: This study intended to identify the awareness and attitudes of nurses towards the oral health care of hospitalized patients. Methods: A descriptive survey was conducted on 158 nurses working in nine general hospitals containing more than 100 beds in major cities in Korea. Results: Nurses working in the general ward responded that the patient or their families (58.5%) should be the ones to provide oral health care for hospitalized patients, while those working in the intensive care unit responded that dental hygienists should be in charge of this task (52.2%). When asked if “Oral health care is important,” more nurses working in general wards responded with “Yes” than those working in the intensive care unit. However, significantly more nurses working in the intensive care unit responded that they provided oral health care for hospitalized patients (72.4%, p<.001). Conclusions: Based on the results, it is necessary to develop evidence-based oral health management protocols for patients hospitalized in both intensive care units and general wards. High-quality oral health care services can be provided to hospitalized patients through the cooperation of nurses and dental hygiene professionals.

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