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VOLUME 28 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2024 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Assessment of Nursing Staff's Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Regarding Oral Hygiene Care in Intensive Care Unit Patients: A Multicenter Cross-sectional Study

Surender Kumar, Bishnupati Singh, Amit Vasant Mahuli, Sanjay Kumar, Awanindra Kumar Jha

Keywords : Critically ill, Intensive care unit, Nurses knowledge, Oral care, Oral hygiene, Ventilator-associated pneumonia

Citation Information : Kumar S, Singh B, Mahuli AV, Kumar S, Jha AK. Assessment of Nursing Staff's Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Regarding Oral Hygiene Care in Intensive Care Unit Patients: A Multicenter Cross-sectional Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2024; 28 (1):48-57.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24601

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 30-12-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Background: Oral care is one of the fundamental nursing care procedures used to decrease oral colonization, dental plaque, respiratory infections, patient stay, and cost. The importance of good oral hygiene for patients in intensive care units (ICUs) is well recognized, however, the most effective way to achieve good oral care in the ICU is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of nursing professionals regarding oral healthcare in ICUs among various medical institutes across India. Materials and methods: A questionnaire-based multicentric cross-sectional survey was conducted among registered nursing professionals employed at ICUs of three government tertiary healthcare centers (THC) of India: THC-I, THC-II, and THC-III located in the eastern and northern parts of India between February 2022 and July 2022. Results: A total of 150 nurses completed the questionnaire form (response rate: 62.5%) comprised of 49 (32.7%) males and 101 (67.3%) females with a mean age of 35.69 ± 7.7 years. Nursing officers’ knowledge surpassed that of staff nurses regarding the duration of toothbrushing (p = 0.033). Among interinstitutional comparisons, THC-I nurses showed the greatest knowledge regarding the duration of toothbrushing and the mechanism of preventing saliva accumulation to reduce microbial growth (p = 0.013 and p = 0.003, respectively). Based on total work experience, participants were segregated into three groups: Group I (<7 years), group II (7.1–13.9 years), and group III (>14 years). Group II surpassed the knowledge of denture removal during sleep, cleaning after every meal, and storing in personalized air-tight containers (p = 0.001 and p = 0.036, respectively). The majority from group II recommended plain saline as the material for oral hygiene maintenance in ICU patients (p = 0.008). Group III predominantly practiced the ideal handwashing technique pre- and post-patient contact which was statistically significant (p = 0.001). Conclusion: This study observed that a knowledge gap exists among the nurses of the three institutes across India pertaining to the oral hygiene care of ICU patients. Nurse's education and implementation of the proper oral hygiene measures for intubated patients in ICU setup is an essential need.

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