Oral Disease in Dependent Adult Patients: Extent of the Problem and the Need for Staff Training

Sweeney, Margaret Petrina (2000) Oral Disease in Dependent Adult Patients: Extent of the Problem and the Need for Staff Training. DDS thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The data reported in this thesis provide a description of the extent of oral disease among three groups of adults with special needs, namely the elderly, those with advanced cancer and patients suffering from psychiatric illness. In all three groups, the prevalence of oral disease is high, but when the provision of oral care is examined, it is clear that there is widespread unmet treatment need. This results in reduced quality of life and creates the potential for development of systemic disease such as aspiration pneumonia. The responsibility of providing oral care for dependent patients usually falls to medical and nursing staff. The literature discussed in this thesis illustrates that there are many barriers to the provision of such care by health care workers other than dental personnel. Mouth care is typically given a low priority in relation to other nursing tasks and is often undertaken by the most junior staff. One of the underlying problems is a widespread lack of knowledge of oral disease and practical mouth care procedures among health care workers. Studies have identified that this probably stems from a lack of training at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The final chapter of this thesis describes the development of multi-media training materials, produced by dental personnel for other groups of carers, particularly medical and nursing staff, to provide essential information on detection and prevention of oral disease. External evaluation of these training aids has proved their potential value in this context. The conclusion to be drawn from all the material presented in this thesis is the need for a much greater level of interdisciplinary working, both in relation to staff training and in the provision of mouth care for dependent patients. It is only when such interactions take place that there will be a significant oral health gain for those unable to care for themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (DDS)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Jeremy Bagg
Keywords: Dentistry, Public health education
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-75551
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 19:29
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 19:29
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/75551

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