Stroke survivors experience poor oral health when discharged from the hospital to the community. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based oral care training programme on knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy and practice behaviour of family caregivers.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted. The experimental group consisted of 48 family caregivers who received the home-based oral care training programme, and the control group consisted of 46 family caregivers who received routine oral care education. The outcomes were measured by the Knowledge of Oral Care, Attitude towards Oral Care, Self-Efficacy of Oral Care and Behaviour of Oral Care before the training programme, and at one and two months afterwards. The data were analysed using mixed model anova to determine differences in the outcomes between the two groups.
The findings demonstrated that the intervention group had more knowledge (t = 8.80, P < 0. 001), greater self-efficacy (t = 3.53, P < 0.01) and better oral care behaviour (t = 11.93, P < 0.001) than the control group at one and two months, with statistically significant differences in oral care knowledge, self-efficacy and behaviour outcome over time. The attitude of the intervention group towards oral care practice was generally positive (mean of baseline and two month = 12.9 and 14.7), but no significant difference in attitude change between the control and intervention groups (t = 1.56, P = 0.12). The treatment interaction effect was significant for the family caregivers’ behaviour of oral care at one and two months of the intervention for both groups.
Our individualized home-based oral care education can achieve significant improvements in oral care knowledge and self-efficacy among family caregivers of stroke survivors, and it can sufficiently empower them to modify their oral care practices in a home-based healthcare environment.