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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Lori Hendrickx


oral assessment guide, mucositis, stomatitis, oral care assessment tool, oral care intervention, oral care protocol, oncology patients


Introduction: Oral mucositis is a common side effect of patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy or radiation in the oncology population. It can result in painful ulceration that affects patient quality of life. To address this problem, it is important to recognize the pathology occurring and measure it accurately by implementing a validated and reliable oral assessment tool.
Evidence Summary: A valid and reliable tool, “Oral Assessment Guide,” was created by oncology nurses specifically to assess for oral mucositis. The appeal of this tool is ease of use, coverage of additional items such as voice and swallowing, and high interrater reliability. Evidence shows that if the oral assessment is properly implemented with adequate education, it can improve interrater reliability between nurse, mucositis rates and duration.
Gaps: Following a systematic literature review a gap noted was the literature on oral assessment tools is greater than five years old. Another gap in the literature was a lack of any head-to-head trials between oral assessment tools.
Recommendations for Practice: The recommended practice change is the replacement of the current SAGE oral assessment tool with the Oral Assessment Guide to improve interrater reliability between nurses and reduce mucositis rates and duration.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oral mucosa.
Cancer -- Patients.
Cancer -- Treatment -- Complications.
Cancer -- Chemotherapy -- Complications.
Cancer -- Radiotherapy -- Complications.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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