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Title: The role of health care workers in maintaining the oral health and quality of life of Parkinson‟s disease patients
Authors: Schembri, Emma
Keywords: Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease -- Patients -- Care
Dental hygiene
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Schembri, E. (2018). The role of health care workers in maintaining the oral health and quality of life of Parkinson‟s disease patients (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Parkinson's disease is becoming an increasingly common condition in the elderly population worldwide and is adversely affecting oral health in the majority of elderly individuals with 6.3 million diagnosed worldwide and 1400 in Malta suffering from this condition. By gathering a better understanding of the oral health and hygiene interventions, health care workers in contact with patients with Parkinson's disease can help them improve and maintain their current level of oral health, improving their overall quality of life in the process. The main objective was to determine whether health care workers have enough knowledge, time, skills and willingness to conduct basic oral hygiene interventions for Parkinson‟s disease patients. 29 patients with Parkinson‟s disease and 12 health care workers from St. Vincent de Paul residential home completed a questionnaire in order to gather information regarding their oral hygiene practices. Patient participants included were diagnosed with Parkinson‟s disease and over 60 years old. If the patients were severely demented, they were automatically excluded from participating. The health care workers must have been in contact with the patients to be eligible to participate. Both patients and health care workers must have been associated with an elderly care residence. All the health care workers interviewed demonstrated an adequate and acceptable level of oral health general knowledge. However, when it came to adapting that knowledge to Parkinson's disease patients and modifying it to suit their needs, this was lacking. The main barrier identified which prevents the maintenance of good oral health in older adults was that the older adult refuses mouth care. The development of a partnership amongst dental and other health care professionals and public health organisations such as the Malta Parkinson's Disease Association should be taken into consideration to support the integration of oral health into the holistic care of patients with Parkinson's disease. Setting up a screening system and a domiciliary dental care service to identify elderly individuals with Parkinson‟s disease who are in need of dental care can also developed in order to improve and maintain their quality of life in the long-run. Expanding into the private sector as well as including other Maltese residential homes would be ideal since currently, the oral health status of these particular patients with Parkinson's disease is still unknown.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacDen - 2018

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