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Challenges in establishing integrated oral care for elderly receiving home-based health care

Authors:

Silje Havrevold Henni ,

University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing Science, NO
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Vibeke Ansteinsson,

NO
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Ewa Hovden,

NO
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Ragnhild Hellesø

NO
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Abstract

Introduction

The elderly of tomorrow will increase the burden on the general health care system as well as the oral health service because of their susceptibility to develop new and more complex health problems. Oral diseases are the most common of the chronic diseases for elderly people and represent an important public health problem due to its prevalence and subsequent impact on the individuals and society. The problem is compounded by a lack of attention from health care services in maintaining the oral health of older adults receiving home-based health care. Oral health problems may lead to severe pain, malnutrition and reduced quality of life. In this paper, we use the scientific literature on home-based professionals’ knowledge and attitude toward promoting integrated oral health care in older adult patients as a basis for identifying the current status. This is a starting point for addressing other factors that need to be taken into account in the project CORAL where the overall aim is to provide a generic scientific-based integrated care model for connecting home health care and oral health services.

Methods

We apply a literature review and use content analysis. The scope of the analysis is to uncover visible and invisible factors influencing the knowledge and attitude toward promoting integrated oral health care that must be considered for developing a comprehensive model.

Results

It is of importance to highlight the knowledge and attitude among the professionals in home-based health services. However, this is not sufficient to close the gaps between different services. We have illuminated blurred boarders and responsibility between different levels of care. These are crucial reasons for today’s inadequate oral health services for adult persons receiving home-based health services. 

Conclusions

Our findings contribute to an extended perspective on the attitude and knowledge among health personnel. To connect these fragmented services, knowledge status, professional issues, as well as organizational and technological approaches need to be examined in the development of novel models.  We need to facilitate knowledge-based services and politics in order to provide sustainable services.

Lessons learned

There is an urgency to enhance the knowledge base on how to integrate oral and home-based health care to reduce costs, increase patient safety and improve quality and efficiency of care.

Limitations

The CORAL model will be developed in the Norwegian context, which means that other countries wishing to implement the model may have to make country specific or regional adaptations.

Suggestions for future research 

Further research needs to be done to address contextualized factors for successful, nationwide innovation in Norway. 

How to Cite: Havrevold Henni S, Ansteinsson V, Hovden E, Hellesø R. Challenges in establishing integrated oral care for elderly receiving home-based health care. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S1):93. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC21054
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Published on 08 Apr 2022.

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