Oral heath advice for people with serious mental illness

People with serious mental illness have worse physical health than the general population. People with serious mental illness also have a greater risk of experiencing oral disease and have greater oral treatment needs than the general population. In people with serious mental illness, poor oral and dental health can contribute to increasing the risk of physical health problems particularly heart diseases.This review looks at whether giving advice about oral health has any effect in improving the oral health of people with serious mental illness.

Authors' conclusions: 

Healthcare professionals should be more proactive in liaising with oral health professionals in developing novel ways to cater for the needs of people with serious mental illness.

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Background: 

People with serious mental illness experience an erosion of functioning in day-to-day life over a protracted period of time. There is also evidence to suggest that people with serious mental illness have a greater risk of experiencing oral disease and have greater oral treatment needs than the general population. However, oral health has never been seen as a priority in people suffering with serious mental illness. Poor oral health has a serious impact on quality of life, everyday functioning, social inclusion and self-esteem. We feel that oral healthcare advice could have a positive impact on this disadvantaged population.

Objectives: 

To assess the effectiveness of oral health advice in reducing morbidity, mortality and preserving the quality of life in people with serious mental illness.

Search strategy: 

We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register (October 2009) which is based on regular searches of CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO.

Selection criteria: 

We planned to include all randomised clinical trials focusing on oral health advice versus standard care or comparing oral health advice with other more focused methods of delivering care or information.

Data collection and analysis: 

The review authors (GT, AC, WK) independently screened search results and did not identify any studies that fulfilled the review's criteria.

Main results: 

We did not identify any studies that met our inclusion criteria.