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Dementia Research Articles

January 2, 2014
Jacqueline Borrie, Lawson Health Research Institute


A dental hygienist and research assistant from Lawson Health Research Institute’s Geriatric Medicine Clinical Trials Group is conducting a quality improvement project that involves understanding barriers to good oral care in long-term care, with a particular focus on staff education. The project involves reviewing the implementation of a best practice approach, and understanding related skills and knowledge in long-term care nursing staff. Based on established research findings that good oral health practices promote overall health, this project focuses on the implementation of oral care best practices by nursing staff on participating long-term care residents at McCormick Home. The increase in the prevalence of residents with a dementia diagnosis in long-term care is also being factored into this study.


As part of the WCA’s goal to be a leader in innovative dementia care by 2022, exploring new ways to provide care and support is an integral part of this effort. This exploration involves collaborating in research activity and working with our community partners to discover how we can enhance the lives of those in our care.


The study involves implementing oral care best practices as established by Registered Nursing Association of Ontario (RNAO) guidelines, and monitoring any related responses to participants’ overall health over the course of care. The process involves establishing a baseline of residen toral health prior to administering RNAO oral care practices and evaluating overall health outcomes after a period of six months.


Approximately 10 personal support workers and registered nursing staff are administering oral care to about 30 participants at McCormick Home. Staff and resident participation is voluntary. The project is being conducted by Jacqueline Borrie, registered dental hygienist and research assistant with the Geriatric Medicine Clinical Trials Group at Lawson Health Research Institute, and is supervised by Dr. Michael Borrie, head of the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Parkwood Hospital. The staff members involved are committed to safeguarding any confidential or identifying information about residents, families or other members of the McCormick Home community. The information gathered will remain confidential and will only be viewed by Jacqueline and her research advisory team.

Timing and Location:

Oral care assessments and treatments began in spring 2013. The project is expected to be completed in early 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Crawford, CEO, WCA, at 432-2648 ext. 2319, or by e-mail at