Oral health measurement in nursing research: State of the science

Cindy L. Munro, Mary Jo Grap, Rita Jablonski, Anne Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Oral health can impact general health and systemic disease. Changes in dental plaque, oral microbial flora, and local oral immunity may be important in the development or exacerbation of disease in critically ill patients, trauma patients, adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and frail elderly. Inasmuch as oral health potentially can be influenced by nursing interventions, nursing research in this area can contribute greatly to improved patient outcomes in these diverse populations. The authors' research teams have conducted several federally funded projects focused on oral health and have developed synergy in research methods. A unifying theme for these research projects is the measurement of oral health. Standardized measures of components of oral health are available and applicable across populations, and their uses and relationship to nursing research and patient outcomes will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Research For Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Critical illness
  • Dental plaque
  • Elderly
  • Microbial flora
  • Oral health
  • Research measurement
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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