Original Study| Volume 19, ISSUE 12, P1086-1091, December 2018

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Improving Nursing Home Residents' Oral Hygiene: Results of a Cluster Randomized Intervention Trial



      A 2-year cluster randomized trial of Mouth Care Without a Battle (MCWB) was conducted in nursing homes (NHs) to determine if recommended mouth care practices provided by NH staff could improve residents' oral hygiene and denture outcomes.


      Cluster randomized trial of NHs.

      Setting and Participants

      Seven MCWB NHs and 6 control NHs. A total of 219 NH residents completed baseline and 24-month oral examinations and, if applicable, denture assessments (control = 98, intervention = 121).


      The intervention consisted of training NH staff in the MCWB protocol, and providing support in its use for 2 years.


      Descriptive data from the Minimum Data Set and clinical oral health assessments: the Plaque Index for Long-Term Care (range 0‒3), the Gingival Index for Long-Term Care (range 0‒4), and the Denture Plaque Index (range 0‒4), with lower scores indicating better oral health.


      There were no significant demographic or health differences between groups at baseline. Residents' mean age (standard deviation) was 77.8 years (13.5), 71% were female, and 49% had cognitive impairment. At 24 months, there were significant improvements in oral and denture hygiene in the intervention group compared with control (all P < .05) with mean changes in indices that were 0.44 (Plaque Index for Long-Term Care), 0.55 (Gingival Index for Long-Term Care), and 0.67 (Denture Plaque Index) points lower in intervention NHs than control NHs.

      Conclusions and Implications for Practice

      Training NH staff to attend to residents' oral hygiene and denture care had a sustained, favorable impact on residents' oral and denture hygiene after 24 months compared with usual care. The protocol, MCWB, can be used by direct caregivers to improve the oral hygiene and denture care of NH residents.


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      • Erratum
        Journal of the American Medical Directors AssociationVol. 20Issue 5
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          The Authors wish to make a correction to their article published in JAMDA ( ) “Improving Nursing Home Residents' Oral Hygiene: Results of a Cluster Randomized Intervention Trial”.
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