Caplinger, J., Royse, M, & Martens, J. (2010). Implementation of an oral care protocol to promote early detection and management of stomatitis. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 14, 799–802.doi: 10.1188/10.CJON.799-802
To observe the benefits of implementing an oral care protocol in the identification and treatment of stomatitis in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation and chemotherapy
Databases searched were CINAHL, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Medline.
Search keywords were stomatitis, mucositis, mucous membrane, treatment protocols, clinical practice guidelines, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
A protocol was developed based on the literature. Nursing education was conducted regarding grading stomatitis based on World Health Organizaiton (WHO) guidelines and interventions for each grade. Patient education was developed regarding the key components of oral hygiene, along with creation of a stomatitis brochure. Chart audits were evaluated for a 20-day period pre- and post-intervention.
After protocol implementation, more cases of stomatitis were identified and stomatitis was identified at an earlier stage of severity.
Protocol use gives nurses the tools to identify high-risk patients and provide treatment.
Daily oral assessment and protocol use reduces the severity of stomatitis resulting in improved patient outcomes. This project could have been expanded and carried one step further by looking at both patients' and nurses' satisfaction and perceived effectiveness of the program.