The Oral Health Self-Care Behavior and Dental Attitudes among Nursing Home Personnel

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The need for nursing home care will increase for the next several decades. Rural areas will be impacted in particular, as many older adults live in rural areas. Daily oral infection control changes when a person moves from independent living to institutional living. Oral care to dependent individuals is influenced by many factors. The purpose of this study is to determine the association of oral health self-care behavior with dental attitudes in nursing home personnel in a rural state. A survey was provided to attendees at an oral health conference. Questions were asked to determine dental knowledge, oral health self-care behavior, and dental care attitudes. Of 128 long term care health care facilities’ personnel invited, there were 31 attendees, and 21 of the attendees participated (67.7%). Nursing home personnel had a high level of dental knowledge. Oral health self-care behavior was independently influenced by dental knowledge (β=0.17; p=0.0444) and dental attitudes (β=0.55; p=.0081). Further investigation is needed to determine if oral health self-care attitudes and oral self-care behavior of nursing home personnel are factors in the provision of quality daily oral infection control for dependent nursing home residents living in rural areas.