Background Oral health in older adults who live in nursing homes is generally poor, with high rates of mainly preventable oral conditions.
Objective The aim of this review was to present an overview of the barriers to good oral health for older nursing home residents.
Data sources Electronic databases were used (PubMed, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect). Reference lists from relevant studies and cited papers were also investigated.
Study selection The review included reports from national surveys and full papers of any study design, systematic reviews and guidelines published in peer-reviewed journals in English published until February 2019.
Data extraction The recorded barriers to good oral health were allocated to the main categories described in the socioecological model of health promotion.
Data synthesis The identified barriers to oral health of nursing home residents were allocated into intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and public health policy issues. The main intrapersonal barriers included the residents’ physical and mental disease, resistance to care, poor oral health literacy and difficulties in accessing dental care. Interpersonal factors included inadequate knowledge and training of caregivers and health professionals on oral health and care for frail older people, as well as negative attitudes of caregivers and family members towards oral hygiene provision in nursing homes. Organizational factors included low priority of oral health in nursing homes, limitations in time and number of staff and limited collaboration with dental professionals. Ineffective oral health policies included lack of priority for oral health and unsupportive oral care systems.
Barriers; Oral Health; Oral Hygiene; Nursing Homes; Older Adults.