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Table 2 Summary of included studies

From: Oral health problems among palliative and terminally ill patients: an integrated systematic review

Author(s)/YearTitlePurposeSettingParticipantsStudy designOral conditions present
Nakajima /2017Characteristics of Oral Problems and Effects of Oral Care in Terminally Ill Patients With CancerTo investigate oral problems in terminal stage of cancer and improvement of dry mouth by oral care.JapanTerminally-ill cancer patientsQuantitative descriptive1. Dry mouth
2. Stomatitis
3. Candidiasis
Fischer et al./2014Oral health conditions affect functional and social activities of terminally ill cancer patientsTo characterize oral conditions in terminally ill cancer patients to determine the presence, severity, and the functional and social impact of these oral conditions.United States of AmericaTerminally-ill cancer patientsQuantitative descriptiveUsing standardized oral examination:
1. Salivary hypofunction
2. Mucosal erythema
3. Ulceration
4. Fungal infection
Using Oral Problem Scale (OPS):
1. Xerostomia
2. Orofacial pain
3. Taste change
Amodio et al./2014Oral health after breast cancer treatment in postmenopausal womenTo characterize oral health in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors.BrazilPost-menopausal breast cancer survivorsQuantitative descriptive1. Chronic periodontal disease
Qutob et al. /2013Implementation of a hospital oral care protocol and recording of oral mucositis in children receiving cancer treatmentTo implement a standardized hospital oral care protocol and record the incidence of oral mucositis for inpatients with childhood cancer.AustraliaPediatric patients with cancerQuantitative descriptive1. Mucositis
Velten et al./2017Prevalence of oral manifestations in children and adolescents with cancer submitted to chemotherapyTo evaluate changes in oral lesions during follow-up of children and adolescents in chemotherapyBrazilChildren and adolescents with cancerQuantitative descriptive1. Mucositis
2. Xerostomia
3. Cold sores
4. Candidiasis
Ezenwa et al./2016Caregivers’ perspectives on oral health problems of end-of-life cancer patientsTo determine caregivers’ perspectives on oral health problems in cancer patients at the end of life and explore factors that contribute to those perspectives.United States of AmericaAdvanced cancer patientsQuantitative descriptive1. Xerostomia
2. Orofacial pain
3. Taste change
Mercadante et al./2015Prevalence of oral mucositis, dry mouth, and dysphagia in advanced cancer patients.To determine the prevalence and the characteristics of oral symptoms in a large population of advanced cancer patients.ArgentinaAdvanced cancer patientsQuantitative descriptive1. Mucositis
2. Dry mouth
3. Dysphagia
Matsuo et al./2016Associations between oral complications and days to death in palliative care patientsTo investigate the associations between the incidence of oral problems and the days to death (DTD) in patients receiving palliative care.JapanPatients receiving palliative careQuantitative descriptive1. Dental caries
2. Gingival inflammation
3. Tongue coating
4. Candidiasis
5. Tongue inflammation
6. Dry mouth
7. Bleeding spots
Kvalheim et al./2016End-of-life palliative oral care in Norwegian health institutions. An exploratory study.To explore circumstances surrounding procedures and knowledge regarding oral care for terminal patients in Norwegian healthcare institutions.NorwayNurses for end-of-life patientsQuantitative descriptive1. Dry mouth
2. Plaque
3. Food particles and fungus Infections
4. Sores and scab
5. Viscous ropy saliva and chapped lips
6. Reduced appetite and pain
7. Dysphagia
8. Halitosis
9. Coughing and problems using dentures
Bogaardt et al./2015Swallowing problems at the end of the palliative phase: incidence and severity in 164 unsedated patients.To establish the incidence of swallowing problems and related problems in the dying phaseNetherlandsDying patientsQuantitative descriptive1. Swallowing problems
2. Frequent coughing
3. Problems with oral secretions
Meidell et al./ 2009Acupuncture as an optional treatment for hospice patients with xerostomia: an intervention studyTo investigate the feasibility of conducting a 5-week acupuncture intervention in a hospice, and the effect of acupuncture on xerostomia, dysphagia and dysarthria in patients with terminal cancer.SwedenEnd-of-life patientsQuantitative comparative1. Xerostomia
2. Dysphagia
3. Dysarthria
Lagman et al./2017Single-Dose Fluconazole Therapy for Oral Thrush in Hospice and Palliative Medicine Patients.To assess the efficacy of a single-dose fluconazole 150 mg for oral thrush.United States of AmericaPalliative and hospice patients with advanced cancer and have a clinical diagnosis of oral thrushQuantitative descriptive1. Oral thrush
Momo et al., 2017Assessment of indomethacin oral spray for the treatment of oropharyngeal mucositis-induced pain during anticancer therapyTo assess the efficacy and safety of indomethacin (IM) oral spray (OS) as a pain control therapy for oropharyngeal mucositis due to anticancer chemo- and radiotherapyJapanPatients with head and neck carcinomas and haematological tumoursQuantitative comparative1. Mucositis
Ling & Larsson/ 2011Individualized pharmacological treatment of oral mucositis pain in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapyTo assess the effect of pharmacological treatment in head and neck cancer patients with OM-induced pain and swallowing difficulties.SwedenPatients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapyQuantitative descriptive1. Mucositis
2. Pain
3. Swallowing difficulties
Gligorov et al./2011Prevalence and treatment management of oropharyngeal candidiasis in cancer patients: results of the French CANDIDOSCOPE study.To evaluate the prevalence of oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.FranceCancer patients treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapyQuantitative descriptive1. Oropharyngeal candidiasis
2. Mucositis
3. Xerostomia
4. Taste changes
5. Pain
Davies et al./2006Oral candidosis in patients with advanced cancerTo determine the epidemiology, aetiology, clinical features and microbiological aspects of oral candidosis in a cohort of cancer patients receiving specialist palliative care.United KingdomCancer patients receiving specialist palliative care.Quantitative descriptive1. Oral yeast carriage
2. Oral candidiasis
3. Xerostomia
Wilberg et al./2012Oral health is an important issue in end-of-life cancer care.To assess the prevalence of oral morbidity in patients receiving palliative care for cancers outside the head and neck region and to investigate if information concerning oral problems was given.NorwayCancers patients outside the head and neck regionQualitative interview1. Xerostomia
2. Mucosal friction
3. General oral discomfort
4. Taste changes
5. Candidiasis
Rydholm & Strang/2002Physical and psychosocial impact of xerostomia in palliative cancer care: a qualitative interview studyTo explore the global effects of xerostomia, with a specific focus on psychological and social consequences.SwedenPatients with advanced malignancies and symptomatic xerostomiaQualitative interview1. Subjective discomfort
2. Dryness or burning sensation
3. Loss of function e.g. articulation or swallowing
4. Increased infection (oral thrush and ulcerations)
Rohr et al./2010Oral discomfort in palliative care: results of an exploratory study of the experiences of terminally ill patients.To examine oral discomfort from the perspective of terminally ill patients.AustraliaTerminally-ill patientsQualitative interview1. Xerostomia
2. Bouts of ulceration and infection