Context: Oral health awareness and oral care are crucial aspects of oncology nursing practice. However very few studies concentrate on the oral care of cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment and nursing practice in the Indian subcontinent. Most of the published studies have been conducted in the Western and European countries. Aim: This study aimed to determine the nurses' knowledge and education about oral care in cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Setting and design: A cross sectional descriptive survey was conducted among 158 staff nurses working in oncology related areas from 4 different hospitals of Dakshina Kannada district and Udupi district of Karnataka state, India. Statistical Analysis: descriptive and inferential statistics was used by using SPSS 16 version. Results: Majority 81 (51.3%) of the staff nurses had poor knowledge of oral care in cancer patients whereas 87 (55.1%) reported that knowledge acquired through basic education in oral care is not sufficient. Most of the staff nurses 115 (72.8%) did not receive basic education in oral care of cancer patients. There was significant association between knowledge and variables such as designation (.005), years of work experience (.040) and years of experience in cancer wards (.000) at 0.05 levels. Conclusion: Lack of knowledge suggest the need to develop and implement continuing nursing education programs on oral care specifically for patients receiving cancer treatments, for improving knowledge of staff nurses' in order to render comprehensive care to the patients. This study also recommends the importance of inclusion of cancer patient specific oral care in the curriculum which can enhance competency of the qualified nurses in cancer wards.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health