Oral Health & Stroke

33558005 - physical therapist assisting patient in walking


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