BACKGROUND: Oral care is important to prevent buccal and systemic infections after an acquired brain injury (ABI). Despite recent advancements in the development of ABI clinical practice guidelines, recommendations for specific clinical processes and actions to attain adequate oral care often lack information.
OBJECTIVE: This systematic review will (1) identify relevant ABI clinical practice guidelines and (2) appraise the oral care recommendations existing in the selected guidelines.
METHODS: A search strategy was developed based on a recent systematic review of clinical practice guidelines for ABI. The protocol includes a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and DynaMed Plus databases, as well as organizational and best-practice websites and reference lists of accepted guidelines. Search terms will include medical subject headings and user-defined terms. Guideline appraisal will involve the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II ratings, followed by a descriptive synopsis for oral care recommendations according to the National Health and Medical Research Council evidence levels.
RESULTS: This project started in April 2019, when we developed the search strategy. The preliminary search of databases and websites yielded 863 and 787 citations, respectively, for a total of 1650 citations. Data collection will start in August 2020 and we expect to begin disseminating the results in May 2021.
CONCLUSIONS: Nursing staff may not have detailed recommendations on how to provide oral care for neurologically impaired patients. The findings of this review will explore the evidence for oral care in existing guidelines and improve outcomes for patients with ABI. We expect to provide adequate orientations to clinicians, inform policy and guidelines for best practices, and contribute to future directions for research in the ABI realm.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/17249.