News

Joint project between The University of Sydney & HammondCare



16 August 2013

HammondCare is an independent Christian charitable organisation which provides community and aged care services state-wide. The facility at Hammondville consists of several levels of care including; general frail and elderly, palliative care, low and high dementia care and independent living.

In November 2012 Associate Professor Peter Dennison & Cathryn Forsyth met with Professor Andrew Cole and Jan Gralton to discuss a joint funding proposal between the University of Sydney & HammondCare. As there were no oral health policies or training for the staff within HammondCare, this collaborative project came at an opportune time.

As part of the initial development of this project, University of Sydney BOH graduate Kosta Cotsonis was appointed to develop a comprehensive oral health promotion program for the HammondCare staff & residence. In consultation with Peter & Cathryn, Kosta developed a plan with our BOH Student Placement Program to educate aged care staff in appropriate oral care.

During the BOH student Placement Program in May 2013, Dillan Patel & Alex Ong developed two presentations to improve understanding and confidence of the carers and residents in oral health. The first presentation addressed Common Oral Health Conditions whilst the second presentation dealt with the Delivery of Oral Hygiene and use of Oral Hygiene Aids. The material used for these presentations was adapted from the 'Better Oral Health in Residential Care' portfolio developed by the South Australian Dental Serviceand was tailored towards the different facilities within HammondCare.

Pre-questionnaires were developed to determine initial carer's understanding and confidence in the prevention, recognition and treatment of oral health conditions as well as the identification, indications and uses of common oral hygiene aids. Post questionnaires were also developed to evaluate any changes in the carer's understanding and confidence in regards to oral health after the presentations.

A total of 104 carers attended the Module 1 Presentation with 77% of participants being able to answer each of the 7 questions correctly, compared to the 32% at the prior to the presentation. At least 88% of participants felt they were more confident in being able to carry out the individual skill sets specified in the 4 statements provided; this is in comparison to the 61% of participants prior to the presentation.

The Module 2 Presentation was attended by a total of 109 carers, with at least 42% of participants being able to answer each of the 5 questions correctly, compared to the 27% prior to the presentation. At least 86% of participants felt they were more confident in being able to carry out the individual skill sets specified in the statements provided; this is in comparison to the 59% of participants at the beginning of the placement.

Due to the depth of care required by residents it was not possible to ensure that every carer at the facility attended both presentations, however the results indicated that the presentations were very effective in improving knowledge and confidence in identifying and addressing common oral health conditions as well as appropriate use of oral hygiene aids.

This collaborative project worked extremely well and as a result, Kosta has been appointed on a permanent basis, one day a week to ensure this program continues. During Semester 2 2013, Dr Kimberly Coulton will be organising BOH students to work with HammondCare Nursing Unit Managers to develop oral health care plans for residents.

Alex Ong with some oral health products at HammondCare
Alex Ong with some oral health products at HammondCare

Dillan Patel and Alex Ong lawn bowling at HammondCare
Dillan Patel and Alex Ong lawn bowling at HammondCare

(From L to R) Dillan Patel, Kosta Cotsonis, Jan Gralton and Alex Ong at HammondCare
(From L to R) Dillan Patel, Kosta Cotsonis, Jan Gralton and Alex Ong at HammondCare

Dillan Patel and Alex Ong at the fake 'Bus Stop' at HammondCare
Dillan Patel and Alex Ong at the fake 'Bus Stop' at HammondCare


Contact: Denise Fischer

Phone: 02 9351 8300

Email: 131f5622145356712026255c0f2a2f074a2b5b02357f2a5440693646