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Oral health screening may decrease aspiration pneumonia risk for adults with dementia in residential aged care


Goldberg, LR and Westbury, J and Langmore, SE and Crocombe, LA and Kent, K and Heiss, C, Oral health screening may decrease aspiration pneumonia risk for adults with dementia in residential aged care, Australia Dementia Forum, 3-5 June 2018, Sydney (2018) [Conference Extract]

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Many adults with dementia in residential aged care are dependent on others for feeding and oral care. Langmore and colleagues in the United States have shown this co-related dependency is a strong predictor for aspiration pneumonia due to pathological oral microorganisms from saliva, tooth decay, and an unclean mouth migrating into the lungs and the inability of adults to cough and clear the aspirated material. The subsequent lung infection frequently results in hospitalisation and increasing frailty. One potential strategy to prevent this cascade is to screen the oral function of adults when they move into care. We present findings from Stage 1 of an NNIDR-funded oral health project where an interdisciplinary team screened 142 residents using the Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT), the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), the Yale Swallow Protocol, and the EuroQOL-5D-3L. Residentsí diagnoses, age, gender, prescribed medications, and clinical signs of potential aspiration were documented from medical files. Of the residents, 78% warranted referral to a dentist; 57% were at risk for malnourishment; 13% were actually malnourished; and 70% failed or refused the swallow protocol, indicating difficulty with, or apprehension about, swallowing thin liquids safely. Self-reported quality of life ranged from 34-95% (M = 65%). The collaborative team of a speech pathologist, dentist, nutritionist and pharmacist was instrumental in assisting nurses and carers to screen for, identify, and address issues in oral health and function. Residents are being tracked to determine the outcome of reduced aspiration pneumonia risk and results will be known soon.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Oral health screening, aspiration pneumonia, dementia, residential care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Goldberg, LR (Associate Professor Lyn Goldberg)
UTAS Author:Westbury, J (Associate Professor Juanita Breen)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
UTAS Author:Kent, K (Dr Katherine Kent)
ID Code:130944
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2019-02-20
Last Modified:2019-03-08
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