Oral health protocols in care facilities for older people in New Zealand
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Aim: To describe the existing usage of oral health care protocols and of oral health care routines carried out in New Zealand Rest Homes and Long Term Care (RH/LTC) facilities. Methods: A two-part structured questionnaire was sent to 425 randomly selected facilities. It recorded the number of residents, staff and location of the facilities. It then examined whether the facility had written Oral Health Care (OHC) policies, whether they were drafted with the assistance of a dental professional, and whether the staff had problems with adhering to the policies. Results: Written policies for oral care were in place in 139 facilities (35.9%). Of those with policies, 15.4% had had a dental professional assist in drafting it (5.5% overall). Only 14.0% of facilities had ever had a dental professional in to give a demonstration in oral care, and 90.2% of facilities felt that a demonstration in oral care would be beneficial. Most facility management teams were satisfied with the way in which they dealt with basic oral care for their residents, and the way in which they manage dental emergencies (72.6% and 77.9% respectively). Baseline oral examinations were a low priority for facilities; only one in nine reported providing them for residents on entry. Conclusions: Written oral health policies are not used extensively in New Zealand LTC facilities. The provision of baseline oral examinations to document the oral health of residents at admission is uncommon. The sector recognised a need for improvement, but they were generally satisfied with the level of care they were able to provide for residents, given existing economic and time constraints.
New Zealand Dental Journal
© 2016 New Zealand Dental Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Dentistry not elsewhere classified