A comparative study of the effects of intra and extra circumoral exercise for older people on oral health at nursing homes: a non-equivalent trial

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To investigate the effects of using intra and extra circumoral exercise on subjective and objective parameters of pre- and postoral health of older people living in nursing homes.


Oral health problems, such as dry mouth and halitosis, are very common complaints for older people and might be the cause of a physiological, psychological or social handicap. In an ageing society, a simple and convenient nursing intervention is needed to resolve these oral health problems without side effects.


The present study adopted a pre- and posttest non-equivalent control group in a quasi-experimental design.


A total of 41 older people (experimental group 21, control group 20) living in nursing homes participated in intra and extra circumoral exercise (25 min a day, six times per week for 4 weeks) to improve oral health in 2013. Chi-square test/Fisher's exact test, t-test/Mann–Whitney U-test and analysis of covariance were used for the data analysis.


ANCOVA was used to control the covariates (age and the basic values of dependent variables) to identify the effect of intra and extra circumoral exercise on the oral health between the two groups. Dry mouth symptoms decreased, oral motor function improved, salivary secretion and mouth opening size increased, salivary pH improved, halitosis decreased more in the experimental group than in the control group. However, the salivary IgA was not significantly different between the two groups.


The intra and extra circumoral exercises as an independent nursing intervention can effectively promote oral health of older people.

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