Aim. To compare the effectiveness of three different oral care protocols in intubated patients. Background. Although oral care is important to improve the oral mucosa integrity in intubated patients, there are few evidence-based nursing protocols to deal with this problem in critical care units. Design. A quasi-experimental design was employed for this study. Methods. Eighty-one orally intubated patients recruited from the intensive care unit of a medical centre in northern Taiwan were employed in this study. Patients were divided into three treatment groups: a control group (n=27), green tea group (n=29) and boiled water group (n=25). Oral mucosal status was monitored using a rating scale for 14days. All data were analysed by the sas software (version 8.2; SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA) using descriptive statistics, the Kruskal-Wallis H test and generalised estimating equation regression models. Results. Severity of mucosal change was significantly less on six subscales (labial mucosa, tongue mucosa, gingival colour, gingivitis, salivary status and amount of dental plaque) in the boiled water group than the control group (p<0·05). In addition, severity was significantly less on two subscales (salivary status and amount of dental plaque) in the green tea group than the control group (p<0·05). Conclusions. Both boiled water and green tea oral care protocols may improve mucosal status of orally intubated patients. Mucosal status was significantly more improved by oral care with boiled water than by oral care with green tea. Relevance to clinical practice. Because oral care plays an important role in improving mucosal status, nurses are urged to find new effective oral care methods to further reduce the occurrence of oropharyngeal colonisation and ventilator-associated pneumonia in intubated patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes