Oral Health Knowledge and Practice Patterns of Advanced Practice Nurses

Friday, April 24, 2015
Key Ballroom 11-12 (Hilton Baltimore)
Ruth Chavez, MS, CNP and Marjorie Vogt, PhD, DNP, CNP, Nursing, Otterbein University, Westerville, OH
Oral health has been receiving increasing attention related to impact on inflammatory systemic diseases, such as in cardiovascular health and diabetes, as well as perinatal outcomes (Wooten et al., 2011). Pediatric dental caries and adult periodontal disease continue to increase partly related to dental care access.  National healthcare goals, such as those in Healthy People 2020 (2013), and the Institutes of Medicine Reports (2011) have called for increased screening and prevention across the lifespan related to dental health, and advanced practice nurses(APNs) are helping to provide some of these services particularly in the pediatric populations (Berger, et al, 2014; Jabloski, et al, 2014; Hallas & Shelly, 2009;  Heurer, 2007).  Yet little is known about the knowledge and practice patterns of APNs related to education, training and behaviors related to oral health.  Few studies have addressed the perceived competencies of APNs related to dental health screening and there is a dearth of information available about oral health education in APN programs (Wooten, et al., 2011, Danielsen, et al, 2006)The purpose of this study is to examine oral health training and practice behaviors of APNs.

After IRB approval, a sample of APNs will be invited to participate in a mixed method descriptive study related to education, knowledge and practice behaviors of oral health.  The sample will be recruited at state and national conferences of APNs.  The electronic surveys instrument includes both open and closed ended questions and is based on the “Oral Competencies for PA and NP Survey” (Danielson et al, 2006) and the “Knowledge, Opinions and Practice Survey” (Wooten, et al, 2011). A description of the study will be provided at the beginning of the survey, and informed consent will be implied through voluntary completion of the survey.

Descriptive and inferential statistics will be used to analyze the data collected. Recommendations based on current education, knowledge and practice related to oral health will be discussed.