To assess attitudes and perceptions towards oral hygiene tasks among geriatric nursing home staff, before and after a dental hygiene education.
A survey questionnaire was distributed to the nursing staff (n = 105), at a geriatric nursing home in Stockholm, Sweden.
The response rate to the questionnaire was 83%. A vast majority (87%) of the nursing staff considered oral hygiene tasks unpleasant. The main reason for considering oral care unpleasant was a perceived unwillingness from the residents. The perceived unwillingness from the residents among the nursing staff was reduced after the dental hygiene education (chi-square test, P = 0.02). A vast majority of the nursing staff experienced, always or sometimes, resistance from the residents towards oral care.
Nursing home staff members consider oral care tasks unpleasant, and frequently experience resistance from the nursing home residents towards oral care. The perceived unwillingness from the residents is reduced after an advanced dental hygiene education. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of education on nursing staff's attitudes and perceptions towards oral care tasks, with the overall aim of improving the oral health among older people in hospitals and nursing homes.