Knowledge, attitude and oral care practices for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia among critical care nurses - A questionnaire study

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Indian Journal of Dental Research


A cross-sectional study was conducted among intensive care unit (ICU) nurses in private hospitals in India to identify knowledge and practice of ICU nurses in the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Methods: Knowledge of 135 nurses working in ICU was tested using a questionnaire consisting of 18 questions. Fourteen forms were excluded from the statistical analysis due to incomplete data entry by the participants. The data of 121 filled questionnaires were analyzed. The information letters, consent forms, and questionnaires were handed to ICU nurses by Research assistant. Data were coded and entered into SPSS version for descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: A majority of the participants perceived oral care as a necessity in all critically ill patients. Nurses were generally aware of the most likely mechanism of acquiring pneumonia. The type and frequency of oral care varied widely. Many of them stated that they had adequate supplies to provide oral care. Although a majority of nurses had some formal training in oral care, they would appreciate an opportunity to enhance and improve their knowledge and skills. Conclusion: The methods of oral care provided vary widely. In summary, randomized controlled trial to date has demonstrated that tooth brushing is associated with a trend toward lower rates of VAP in intubated mechanically ventilated critically ill patients. But it is also to be noted that there was no clear difference between electric and manual tooth brushing. In-house training and workshop can provide required skills needed for the betterment of the treatment provided.

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