Oral Care: Exploring education, attitudes, and behaviors among nurses caring for patients with breast cancer


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Abstract

BACKGROUND:Patients treated for breast cancer often experience severe oral complications, such as mucositis, xerostomia, and infections, which can result in dose reductions and treatment delays, affecting treatment outcomes.OBJECTIVES:The purpose of this article is to explore oncology nurses' perceptions of their educational experiences, professional attitudes, and behavior related to providing oral healthcare education to patients with breast cancer.METHODS:The Oncology Nursing Society sent an email to 5,000 nursing team members who cared for patients with breast cancer, requesting participation in a web-based survey; 194 responses were received, with 164 meeting study eligibility.FINDINGS:More oral health-related education was received during clinical experiences than during formal or continuing education. Although patient-driven oral care and diagnostic efforts were frequent, actual behavior was less frequent. No major barriers to providing oral care were indicated. Increased oral health-related education and behavior correlated with the reported importance of increased oral health education for nurses.

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