Effects of Oral Health Care Education on the Severity of Oral Mucositis in Pediatric Oncology Patients
Melahat Akgün KOSTAK1,Remziye SEMERCİ1,Tuba EREN2,Esra Nur KOCAASLAN1,Filiz YILDIZ2
1Department of Child Health and Disease Nursing, Trakya University, Faculty of Health Sciences Edirne-Turkey
2Department of Paediatric Oncology/Haematology, Trakya University Hospital, Edirne, Turkey
DOI : 10.5505/tjo.2020.2366 OBJECTIVE
Oral mucositis is undoubtedly the most common painful complication of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and adversely affects the quality of life children. This study aimed to examine the effects of oral health care education on the severity of oral mucositis in pediatric oncology patients.

The semi-experimental and longitudinal study was carried out with 30 children aged eight to 18 years and their mothers in the pediatric oncology clinics at a university hospital. Data were collected with Survey Form, World Health Organization Oral Mucositis Index, and Children"s International Mucositis Evaluation Scale. Children and mothers in the intervention group received oral health care education before chemotherapy. Children"s oral health was assessed before chemotherapy (0th day) and following chemotherapy 7th, 14th, and 21st days. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, Friedman Test.

The socio-demographic characteristics of the children did not affect children"s oral mucositis severity. It was determined a significant difference in the severity of oral mucositis between the control and intervention group (p<0.05). Oral mucositis"s degree and scores were lower in the intervention groups than the control group on the 7th day of chemotherapy.

The findings obtained in this study suggest that oral health care education is an effective method to reduce the severity of oral mucositis in pediatric oncology patients. It is recommended that oral health care education should be given to children and their parents from the beginning of hospitalization. Keywords : Chemotherapy; education; nursing; oral mucositis; pediatric oncology