Vol 16, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-10-20

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Assessment of oral health problems and oral hygiene practices among palliative care patients using a new tool: A pilot study

Nur Afiqah Hamizah Amran1, Hanif Abdul Rahman1, Hj Awang Mohamad Zulkhairi Bin Hj Awang, Zaidah Rizidah Murang1, Appalasamy Nara2, Shyh Poh Teo3, Sachinjeet Kaur Sodhi Dhaliwal, Ravi Sekhar Patnaik, Jagjit Singh Dhaliwal14
Palliat Med Pract 2022;16(1):49-58.


Introduction: This research paper is a cross-sectional study that aims to estimate the prevalence of
oral health problems among adult patients in palliative care, as well as to investigate the oral hygiene
practices of palliative care patients in Brunei Darussalam.
Patients and methods: In this study, the Oral Palliative Care and Assessment and Referral tool (OPCAR)
along with a 15-item questionnaire were utilized as reliable tools for measurements. All palliative care
patients who had been assessed in this study were invited to participate. A total of 90 palliative care
patients were invited to participate and 73 patient data were used for the subsequent data analysis.
Results: The three most common problems among palliative care patients were saliva, lips, and teeth
category. Fisher’s exact test identified there were significantly higher teeth-related problems (teeth caries,
fracture, broken root stumps) in non-denture wearing patients as compared with denture wearing
patients. However, other associations between denture wearing to oral hygiene was of little significance.
Conclusions: Using the normal approximation sample method, it was revealed that almost all the participants
were eligible to be referred to the dental clinic for at least one oral problem.

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Palliative Medicine in Practice