Better late than never - Bring back oral care in nursing: Bring back oral care in nursing

Line Louise Rasmussen, Karina Hesselvig Vaupell, Marlene Lynggaard Olsen, Charlotte Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPosterCommunication



Aim: To explore patients' and healthcare professionals' (HCPs) experiences of oral care during hospitalisation to identify needs and challenges.

Background: Daily oral care is important to patients' health and well- being, to pre-vent diseases in the oral cavity, systemic infections and increased morbidity, which subsequently can lead to prolonged hospitalisation and, at worst, increased mortality. Despite this knowledge, oral care is a neglected part of nursing practice. Studies do not clearly identify barriers regarding oral care, as the existing knowledge is inadequate.

Design: A qualitative study exploring participants' experiences to gain new in-depth knowledge of oral care among hospitalised patients.

Methods: A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was applied. Participant ob-servations were conducted on five hospital wards, combined with individual semi- structured interviews with 16 patients and 15 HCP. Data analysis was based on Ricoeur's theory of narrative and interpretation.

Results: Four themes describing the challenges regarding oral care emerged: Oral care as a gut feeling; oral care fades into the background; even self- reliant patients need help with oral care; and the mouth reflects the life lived.

Conclusions: The identified challenges show there is a need for improvement in the health professional approach to oral care in nursing practice. Focus on increasing HCPs' knowledge, skills and competences can increase their nursing agency and sup-port patients' self-care capacity.
Translated title of the contributionBedre sent end aldrig - Bring mundhygiejne tilbage i den grundlæggende sygepleje: Bør Mundhygiejne være mere end blot en mavefornemmelse? En kvalitativ undersøgelse af patienters og sundhedsprofessionelles oplevelser
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
EventICN Concgress 2023: “Nurses together: a force for global health” - Palais des Congrès (convention centre), Montreal, Canada
Duration: 1 Jul 20235 Jul 2023


ConferenceICN Concgress 2023
LocationPalais des Congrès (convention centre)
Internet address


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