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Testing an oral assessment guide during chemotherapy treatment in a Swedish care setting: a pilot study

  • P Andersson
  • Lena Persson
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • S Renvert
Publishing year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 150-158
Publication/Series: Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Oral complications are common in patients with haematological malignancies who undergo chemotherapy treatment. A pilot study including 16 haematological patients was carried out to evaluate the oral status using an Oral Assessment Guide (OAG) and to test the reliability of the OAG. The oral assessments were made daily by registered nurses at a Department of Internal Medicine in Sweden. Once a week a dental hygienist made the oral assessments independent of the registered nurses in order to provide data for calculations of inter-rater reliability. All patients had varying degrees of alterations in the oral cavity, especially in the mucous membranes, teeth/dentures and gums. The inter-rater agreement between the nurses and the dental hygienist was good for saliva and swallow, and moderate for voice and gums. Assessments to detect alterations in the oral cavity afford the opportunity for early and individualized interventions and may decrease the risk of oral infections. It is necessary to train the nurses to ensure high levels of reliability in the oral assessments. The OAG seems to be a reliable and clinical useful tool for assessing the oral cavity status and determining changes.


  • Nursing
  • acute leukaemia
  • chemotherapy
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • myeloma
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • nursing care
  • oral assessment guide
  • oral health


  • ISSN: 1365-2702
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions