A systematic review of oral assessment instruments: what can we recommend to practitioners in children’s and young people’s cancer care?

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A nurse-led study by Gibson et al (2010) highlighted that a structured oral assessment enables a more informed and accurate identification of signs and symptoms and will enable early and individualised interventions.


This multidisciplinary mouth-care group conducted a systematic review of the published literature. The goal of the review was to identify and evaluate the range of instruments used to assess oral mucositis to recommend evidence-based guidelines for the “best” instrument to use in the field of children’s and young people’s cancer care. Fifty-four individual oral assessment instruments were identified with only 15 reporting evidence of reliability and validity testing. Only 3 articles reported on oral assessment exclusively in children and young people.