Student focused oral health promotion in Residential Aged Care Facilities

1 January 2009

Wallace, J. P., Taylor, J. A., Wallace, L. G., & Cockrell, D. J. (2010). Student focused oral health promotion in residential aged care facilities. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 48(4), 111-114.

Students completed pre and post placement questionnaires and reflective journals to determine their knowledge and experience communicating with and providing oral hygiene care to older adults and RACF staff.  Students were also required to complete several assessment tasks during the placement including the development of a scientific poster specific to oral health needs of the elderly.

RACF staff were interviewed to determine existing oral health awareness within their RACFs and to establish if dental services were available to their residents.  

The aim of this paper was to evaluate whether the program provided a supportive learning environment where students were able to build on and improve both their communication skills and oral health knowledge pertaining to older people living in RACFs.  This was achieved by comparing the results of the pre and post placement questionnaires and this research started a body of work spanning 4 years leading to the translational program now known as the Senior Smiles program.  

View the full paper here
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