Children's Hospices: An Opportunity to Put the Mouth Back in the Body


Children's Hospices: An Opportunity to Put the Mouth Back in the Body


Schofield C; Bennett R; Orloff C; Devalia U


British Dental Journal




Pediatric Dentistry


Introduction The children and young people who utilise hospice services often have additional oral health care needs and may present with additional challenges in regard to mouth care. Hospice colleagues need support and would benefit from national direction in providing mouth care for this important group.Methods Questionnaires were provided to hospice nursing colleagues, parents and carers to assess current knowledge and confidence around mouth care and diet. An audit was also completed on hospice records to assess the recording of mouth care provision prior to the introduction of Mini Mouth Care Matters. Training was then provided to colleagues in the form of a virtual interactive learning session and a re-audit of hospice records was then completed.Results Almost 30% of colleagues had never received mouth care training and two-thirds of colleagues faced barriers in providing daily mouth care. Overall, 11% of children who accessed hospice services had never visited a dentist and nearly half of the children brushed less than twice a day. The Mini Mouth Care Matters assessment tool resulted in an increase in assessment of the mouth of children using the hospice, along with early identification of problems and improving daily mouth care.Conclusion Mini Mouth Care Matters is transferable to children's hospices and should be extended to all children's hospices nationally.


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Schofield C; Bennett R; Orloff C; Devalia U, “Children's Hospices: An Opportunity to Put the Mouth Back in the Body,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 22, 2024,