Document Type : Original Article


1 Prosthetic Dental Sciences, AlFarabi College for Dentistry and Nursing,

2 department of Nursing Administration and Education

3 Medical Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

4 Department of Pediatrics, Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan,

5 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, AlFarabi College for Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


BACKGROUND: Oral care of hospitalized patients is an important measure that aims to maintain
and promote the health of oral and dental tissues. This study aimed to investigate nurses’ attitudes
and practices regarding oral care of hospitalized patients in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional, descriptive design was implemented. The research
instrument was a self‑administered questionnaire that was designed and distributed among 300 nurses
working at five hospitals located in Riyadh.
RESULTS: Totally, 226 questionnaires were completed (response rate: 75%). Almost all
participants (97.8%) think that providing oral hygiene is an important element of patient care and
90.7% think that nurses need to update their oral care knowledge and skills. Only 46% of the nurses
reported the presence of a policy for oral care at their hospital unit and 55.3% indicated that patients
are assessed for oral health at their department. About 56.2% of participants did not receive training
on oral assessment and provision of oral care and a few nurses (2%) received training on oral care at
their current job place. A large proportion of nurses (44%) expressed a desire to undergo training on
oral care of hospitalized patients. Gender, nationality, and previous training were the most important
predicators of a positive attitude.
CONCLUSIONS: The outcome of this study indicates a positive attitude among the surveyed nurses
toward provision of oral care for hospitalized patients. Current oral care practice in Saudi hospitals
is suboptimal. Saudi hospitals need to pay more efforts to train their nursing staff and issue clear
policies and guidelines regarding oral care of hospitalized patients.


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