1. Groenkjaer, Lea Ladegaard MSN, RN


This study aimed, for the first time, to explore hepatology nurses' knowledge and education in the oral care and oral health assessments of patients with liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis can be associated with lifestyles and behaviors that contribute to oral neglect and untreated oral inflammation. This inflammation can represent foci for systemic infections, with increases in morbidity and mortality rates. A questionnaire consisting of 26 closed- and open-ended questions was used to determine among heptalogy nurses the extent of knowledge, education, and current practices in oral healthcare among hepatology nurses. The study involved a sample of 94 nurses employed in different gastroenterology and hepatology units, with a response rate of 73%. The results indicated that respondents lacked substantial oral care education, both in connection with their initial training and after qualifying as nurses. The respondents had inadequate knowledge of basic oral health, the equipment used for oral care, and medications' adverse effects on oral health. These results indicate a need for educational updates in cooperation with dentists and for the promotion of specific oral assessment guides in patients with liver cirrhosis.