Impact of a systematic oral care protocol on stomatitis after chemotherapy

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The effect of a systematic protocol for oral care on the development of stomatitis in patients receiving chemotherapy was investigated. Using a systematic assessment with a four-point rating scale for each item, 114 evaluations of physical condition, oral condition and oral perceptions were done on a control group of 25 patients every other day for 25 days. A protocol for oral care was then instituted and 103 evaluations were done on 22 experimental patients. Findings indicate a significant improvement (p <0.01) in oral status when the oral care protocol was used. The physical condition of the groups did not differ significantly. Perceptions did not change significantly, although it was found that perceptions are a questionable indicator of oral status. This supports the necessity of regular physical assessment of the mouth. The level of infection decreased to two-thirds of the level in the control group when the protocol was utilized.

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