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Rebuilding the Dental Hygiene Habits of the Hospitalized Patients with Schizophrenia

Authors: Feng-Chuan Pan, Chia-Jou Hsieh


Oral health is particular important to the hospitalized patients with chronic schizophrenia for an extreme high potential of the respiratory infections. Due to the degeneration of physical capability, patients of this kind typically fall dependent in the activity of daily living (ADL). A very high percentage of patients had dental problems of which mostly could be easily avoid by easy regular tooth brushing. Purpose of the project is to develop a mechanism in helping the schizophrenia patients in rebuilding a tooth-cleaning habit. The project observed and evaluated the tooth-cleaning behavior of 100 male patients in a psychiatric hospital, and found the majority of them ignored such an activity in a three-month period of time. In the meantime, the primary care-givers were not aware or not convinced the importance of such a need of dental hygiene, and thus few if any tooth cleaning training or knowledge on dental hygiene were given to the patients. The project then developed a program based on the numerous observations and discussions. The improvement program included patients- group education, care-givers- training, and a tool-kit for tooth-brush holding was erected. The project launched with some incentive package. The outcomes were encouraging with 87% of the patients had rebuilt their tooth-brushing habits against previous 22%, and the tooth cleaning kits were 100% kept against 22% in the past. This project had significantly improved the oral health of the patients. The project, included the procedure and the tool-kit holder specific for this purpose, was a good examples for psychiatric hospitals.

Keywords: Health Education, Schizophrenia, Dental Hygiene, tool-kit holder

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