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Review: enhanced oral hygiene prevents respiratory infection in elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes

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QUESTION

In elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes, does enhanced oral hygiene prevent respiratory infection?

REVIEW SCOPE

Included studies evaluated the effect of enhanced oral hygiene care or frequent professional oral care on respiratory infection in elderly people in hospitals or nursing homes. Outcomes were respiratory infection, pneumonia, and death from pneumonia.

REVIEW METHODS

Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (1996 to Nov 2007); and reference lists were searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in English, German, Dutch, or a Nordic language between 1996 and 2007. Studies involving patients with mechanical ventilation or tube-feeding were excluded. 3 RCTs (n = 807) met the selection criteria. 1 placebo-controlled trial was double-blinded. An additional crossover trial (n = 46) of uncertain randomisation status …

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