Penn State to help brush up oral hygiene in nursing homes

People with dementia may soon have improved oral hygiene because of a National Institutes of Health $1.4 million, four-year grant to Rita A. Jablonski, assistant professor of nursing, Penn State.

Cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and have all been linked to poor oral hygiene. Patients with dementia can be especially hard to care for because they often are no longer able to distinguish low or non-threatening situations from highly threatening situations -- leading to their resisting care by pushing the nurse away or fighting with their caretaker.

Jablonski and colleagues previously conducted a on their strategies for reducing care-resistant behavior in patients with during oral hygiene activities.

"We have come up with 15 strategies -- techniques to help reduce threat perception," said Jablonski. Combined, these strategies make up the oral hygiene approach called Managing Oral Hygiene Using Threat Reduction (MOUTh).

The grant will allow the researchers to evaluate and validate the effectiveness of the MOUTh strategy, as well as calculate the cost.

"The purpose of this study is to determine whether care-resistant behaviors can be reduced, and improved, through the application of an intervention based on the neurobiological principles of threat perception and ," said Jablonski.

In addition to Jablonski, other researchers on the grant include Ann Kowlanowski, Elouise Ross Eberly Professor of nursing, Penn State; Douglas Leslie, professor in public health sciences, Penn State College of Medicine; Barbara Therrien, associate professor in nursing, University of Michigan; Ellen K. Mahoney, associate professor in nursing, Boston College; and Cathy Kassab of By the Numbers.

Related Stories

Dirty mouths lead to broken hearts

date May 01, 2011

Nurses who care for patients with dementia now have a tailored approach to dental hygiene for their charges, thanks to a pilot study by a team of nurses.

Recommended for you

How does aging affect athletic performance?

date 20 minutes ago

I remember the moment a few years ago while watching TV when I realized that if I were riding in the Tour de France, at age 42 I'd be the oldest person in the race. It hit me that my dream of racing in cycling's ...

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.