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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-9

Are oral health education for carers effective in the oral hygiene management of elderly with dementia? A systematic review

1 Former Post Graduate Student, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
2 Department of Epidemiology, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Asan Memorial Dental College and Hospital, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nithin Manchery
School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Brisbane
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.276232

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Elderly with dementia or cognitive impairment are at increased risk of poor oral health. Oral health education programs targeting carers may be an effective strategy to improve oral hygiene. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of oral health education programs for carers on the oral hygiene of elderly with dementia. A literature search was performed to identify studies published in five electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO), without time and language restrictions. Two independent coders extracted data and assessed the risk of bias for each included study. Of the 243 studies, only four studies met the inclusion criteria. All four studies reported a significant improvement for some oral health measures in dementia elderly following a carer oral health education program. The included studies did not report any other relevant outcomes of interest for this review. This review identifies limited evidence for a carer oral health education as an efficient means to improve oral health in dementia elderly. The review also clearly highlights the need for well-designed, high-quality studies with more relevant outcome measures to better address this knowledge gap.

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