The pilot study purpose was to determine the effects of a new standardized oral care protocol (intervention) to usual care practices (control) in poststroke patients.
This study is a randomized controlled clinical trial.
Fifty-one subjects were enrolled. Subjects in the intervention group received oral care twice a day including tooth brushing, tongue brushing, flossing, mouth rinse, and lip care while control patients received usual oral care.
Subjects in the control and intervention groups showed improvement in their oral health assessments, swallowing abilities and oral intake. There were no significant differences between the two groups. Although not statistically significant, overall prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-sensitiveStaphylococcus aureus colonization in the control group almost doubled (from 4.8% to 9.5%), while colonization in the intervention group decreased (from 20.8% to 16.7%).
These findings demonstrate the importance of oral care in the poststroke patient with dysphagia.