Core Outcomes for Oral Health Research Involving Dependent Older Adults

Gerry McKenna*, Georgios Tsakos, Julie McMullan, Sinead Watson, Paul Brocklehurst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Objectives: The aim is to develop a core outcome set (COS) for oral health research involving dependent older adults (≥65 years).
Methods: A multi-step process involving consensus methods with key stakeholders is ongoing. A systematic review of previous studies to identify oral health outcomes for dependent older adults was conducted first and the outcomes are presented in this abstract. Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders will then undertaken to prioritise the list of outcomes generated by the systematic review, but also to identify additional outcomes considered important to key stakeholders. Stakeholders include dependent older adults, family, carers, care-home managers, health professionals, researchers, dental commissioners and policymakers. Consensus methods including a Delphi survey and a face-to-face consensus meeting will then undertaken with key stakeholders.
Results: Twelve studies were included in the systematic review addressing various interventions to prevent oral disease in dependent older people. Five were individually randomised controlled trials, five were cluster randomised and two were cross-over designs. One study investigated guideline implementation for dependent older people. Twelve studies investigated targeted health promotion programmes, four studies investigated the use of professional staff to administer chlorhexidene and two studies investigated the use of professional staff to administer fluoride products.
Although all the studies were undertaken in residential care homes, the included studies were heterogenous in terms of the primary outcome measures and the timeframes used to determine effectiveness.
Conclusions: Based on low-certainty evidence, chlorhexidene and/or topical fluoride did show some benefit in preventing new root caries lesions or the deterioration of existing lesions. Chlorhexidene also appeared to be effective at reducing accumulations of plaque and gingival inflammation. The effectiveness of carer training programmes was more equivocal, with some studies showing an improvement in care-giver knowledge, oral hygiene status and clinical measures, whilst others showing no effect. Given the range of primary outcome measures used, the need for core outcome sets that account for patient-related outcomes also appears justified.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Publication statusAccepted - 01 Jun 2020
Event2020 IADR / AADR / CADR General Session - Washington DC, Washington DC, United States
Duration: 18 Mar 202021 Mar 2020

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