Oral Health & Cardiovascular Health & Stroke

19211007 - red heart in the hand of a physician

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Developing a cardiovascular oral health program: a mixed methods study (CARDIOH)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Australia, and as such is a national health priority. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis has found periodontal disease to be independently associated with CHD. In view of current evidence, general consensus internationally is that cardiac care providers should provide oral health promotion, assessments and dental referrals for a comprehensive periodontal therapy. However, in Australia, cardiac clinicians do not provide oral health education, assessments and referrals to consumers during rehabilitation.

The aim of the study is to develop a Cardiovascular Oral Health (CARDIOH) program for a cardiac setting in the Sydney. This program will incorporate oral health guidelines into cardiac care practice and will involve educating and training cardiac clinicians (medical, nursing and allied health staff) to provide oral health education, assessment and referrals to their patients.

    Phase 1: Scoping review and development of the CARDIOH program framework
    Phase 2: Perceptions of the program from consumers & cardiac rehabilitation clinicians
    Phase 3: Designing and pilot testing the CARDIOH education program with cardiac clinicians
    Phase 4: Trial of the CARDIOH program

Funding is gratefully acknowledged from:

    • The Commonwealth Government of Australia (Australian Postgraduate Award)

Project team:

    • Paula Sanchez – Western Sydney University, SWSLHD, Ingham Institute
    • Assoc Prof. Ajesh George – Western Sydney University, SWSLHD, University of Sydney, Ingham Institute
    • Assoc Prof. Bronwyn Everett – Western Sydney University, SWSLHD, University of Sydney, Ingham Institute
    • Prof Yenna Salamonson – Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute
    • Adjunct Assoc Prof Ravi Srinivas – SWSLHD Oral Health Services, Western Sydney University
    • Dr Shilpi Ajwani – SLHD Oral health services, Sydney Dental Hospital, University of Sydney
    • Clinical Associate Prof Sameer Bhole – SLHD Oral health services, Sydney Dental Hospital, University of Sydney
    • Assoc Prof. Rohan Rajaratnam – Western Sydney University
    • Assoc Prof. Julie Redfern – George Institute, University of Sydney

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Integrated dental care after stroke (IDeaS)

Stroke causes damaging oral health effects such as difficulty swallowing and an impaired brushing action. These both result in a greater amount of bacteria in the mouth and this increases the risk of pneumonia, a significant complication post-stroke. The National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke show the need for oral care following stroke and suggest how nurses and allied health staff, such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists and dietitians, can be important in oral assessment and management. However, current evidence suggests that nurses are often not involved in oral care of stroke patients and do not have adequate knowledge about it.

As such, the purpose of this project is to explore patients and acute stroke nursing professionals’ perceptions regarding the practicability, acceptability and feasibility of the IDEAS program.

    Phase 1: Scoping review of evidence for the potential role of nurses and other non-dental professionals in the oral care of stroke patients.
    Phase 2: Explore attitudes, knowledge and practices of stroke patients and non-dental professionals
    Phase 3: Designing the online IDEAS program
    Phase 4: Education, training and assessment of health professionals
    Phase 5: Pilot testing the IDEAS program

In-kind support is gratefully acknowledged from:

    • Sydney Local Health District

Project team:

    • Dr Shilpi Ajwani – SLHD Oral health services, Sydney Dental Hospital, University of Sydney
    • Nadia Burkolter – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, SLHD
    • Prof Craig Anderson – University of Sydney
    • Clinical Associate Prof Sameer Bhole – SLHD Oral health services, Sydney Dental Hospital, University of Sydney
    • Assoc Prof. Ajesh George – Western Sydney University, SWSLHD, University of Sydney, Ingham Institute
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