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Healthcare providers’ experiences of assessing and performing oral care in older adults
Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för hälsa och lärande.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9257-5087
Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för hälsa och lärande.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0976-531X
Skaraborg Hospital, Skövde, Sweden.
Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för hälsa och lärande.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9065-0677
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Older People Nursing, ISSN 1748-3735, E-ISSN 1748-3743, Vol. 13, no 2, article id e12189Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims and objectives

The purpose of this study was to describe healthcare providers’ experiences, knowledge and attitudes in relation to the assessment of oral health in older adults.

Background

Oral health is an important element in the care of older adults. An increasing proportion of older people need the help and support of community‐based healthcare services, which are responsible for providing oral health assessment for this group. Although oral care is an important part of nursing care, studies show that it is often an overlooked area in the care of older people.

Design

An inductive qualitative description design was used.

Methods

The participating healthcare providers were selected from a municipality in western Sweden. Purposeful sampling was employed and data were collected through focus‐group interviews and were analysed with content analysis.

Results

The analysis resulted in four categories: healthcare providers’ knowledge and attitudes to oral health; routines affect flexibility; challenges in assessing and performing oral care and ethical dilemmas. The results showed that oral health was neglected because of several factors. Lack of knowledge, inadequate procedures and time constraints were most prominent. The healthcare providers’ own attitudes affected the performing of oral health assessments. Ethical dilemmas related to the attitudes of those people in receipt of care and their relatives, and their integrity and autonomy, could be seen as complicating factors.

Conclusions

The healthcare providers expressed that they did not have the necessary knowledge of oral health that was required in their area of responsibility. In addition, they described their own attitudes as being important when attending to the patients’ oral health.

Implications for practice

The healthcare providers themselves identified lack of knowledge and their own attitudes as being especially important factors in the oral care of older adults, and further research in this area is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Vol. 13, no 2, article id e12189
Keywords [en]
ethics, experiences, focus-group interviews, healthcare providers, older adults, oral health
National Category
Dentistry Geriatrics Health Sciences
Research subject
Wellbeing in long-term health problems (WeLHP)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39226DOI: 10.1111/opn.12189ISI: 000434118100011PubMedID: 29512291Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85043302693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-39226DiVA, id: diva2:1201743
Available from: 2018-04-11 Created: 2018-04-26 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Ek, KristinaBrowall, MariaEriksson, Irene

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