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Hearts and mouths: Perceptions of oral hygiene by at-risk heart surgery patients

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ray Lowry, Emeritus Professor Jimmy Steele CBE, Claire Beard, Dr Joan Harvey, Dr George Erdos


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Objective: To assess and use the attitudes of patients who are placed at risk after valvular heart surgery due to the connection between poor oral hygiene, valvular heart disease/surgery and the risk of developing infective endocarditis. Design: A qualitative (focus group) design based study carried out on subjects three months post heart surgery. Method: There were five focus groups of five participants each convened by an experienced moderator. Results: These portrayed an apparent pressing desire by most patients to talk about their experiences. However, patients did not accept the link between their oral health and their general health. Oral hygiene practices were not necessarily oral health related. Conclusions: The importance of the study in understanding the reasons for a patient's behaviour is evident when there is a clear need to modify the behaviour patterns of the patients effectively. Clinical trials can now be developed based on these results.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lowry RJ, Maunder P, Steele JG, Colligan J, Beard CA, Harvey J, Erdos G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2005

Volume: 199

Issue: 7

Pages: 449-451

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4812744

PubMed id: 16215579


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