Online Program

Developing interventions to promote oral cancer screening and oral health in nursing homes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Erina White, LICSW, MPH, School of Social Work, Simmons College, Boston, MA
Mary Lecloux, LICSW, School of Social Work, Simmons College, Boston, MA
Tamara Cadet, LICSW, MPH, PhD, School of Social Work, Simmons College, Boston, MA
Taru Kinnunen, MA, PhD, Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Harvard School of Dental Medicine Research and Education Building, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Peter Maramaldi, PhD, MPH, LCSW, School of Social Work/Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology HSDM-Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Simmons College/Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA
More than 41,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. Oral cancer disproportionately affects those over age 65 because older adults have the lowest screening rates for almost all cancers including oral cancer. Approximately 25% of patients with oral cancer die because of delayed diagnosis and treatment. The population of nursing home residents is at the highest risk for oral cancer, and yet has the lowest screening rates. The NIDCR-funded pilot study reported here integrates the Health Belief Model, Transtheoretical Model and Implementation Science in its conceptual framework. The study population includes nursing home administrators and clinical directors, who are the key personnel with oversight responsibilities for oral health and oral cancer screening in long term care facilities. Ten focus groups were conducted across Massachusetts with 35 participants. Findings provide consistent evidence that the intent to provide oral health care to nursing home residents is greater than the actual delivery. The theoretical model aided in framing the findings to target specific areas for future intervention strategies including: increasing knowledge about oral cancer risk, motivating family members to advocate, increasing motivation and self-efficacy among staff, and reframing regulatory demands. Findings indicate that the frontline staff who provide daily oral health care to residents must be the ultimate target of interventions.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the facilitators and barriers associated with providing quality oral health care and oral cancer screening Explain the importance of oral health and oral cancer screening for long-term care residents Identify future intervention strategies to increase oral health and oral cancer screening in long term care facilities

Keyword(s): Oral Health Needs, Cancer Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on this study under the close supervision of the Co-I, Dr. Peter Maramaldi, who has served as a PI, Co-I, and consultant on multiple evidence-based health promotion and cancer screening studies funded by NCI, NINR, NIDCR, American Dental Association and the DentaQuest Foundation. Nearing the end of my training, I am currently serving on research teams by testing designs, conducting interventions, and managing data at Boston Children's Hospital.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.