Improving residents’ oral health through staff education in nursing homes

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This study assessed the efficacy of oral care education among nursing home staff members to improve the oral health of residents. Nursing home support staff members (NHSSMs) in the study group received oral care education at baseline between a pretest and posttest. NHSSMs’ oral care knowledge was measured using a 20-item knowledge test at baseline, posteducation, and at a 6-month follow-up. Residents’ oral health was assessed at baseline and again at a 6-month follow-up using the Modified Plaque Index (PI) and Modified Gingival Index (GI). Among staff members who received the oral care education (n = 32), posttest knowledge statistically significantly increased from the pretest level (p < .05). Thirty-nine control residents of the nursing homes and 41 study residents participated. Among residents in the study group, PI decreased at 6 months compared to baseline (p < .05), but there was no statistically significant difference in their GI measurements between baseline and 6-month follow-up (p= .07).

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