Evaluation of an oral care protocol intervention in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in paediatric cancer patients

K. K.F. Cheng, Alexandros Molasiotis, A. M. Chang, W. C. Wai, S. S. Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Oral mucositis is the most frequent and severe complication of chemotherapy in children with cancer that can aggravate the child's clinical condition and increase the risk of infection. This prospective comparative study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a preventive oral care protocol in reducing chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in children with cancer. During an 8-month period, 42 children aged 6 to 17 years with haematological malignancies or solid tumours were evaluated. The 21 children who were included in the first 4-month period of the study constituted the control group. Another 21 children were enrolled in the subsequent 4 months and were assigned to the experimental group, in which they were given an oral care protocol intervention. The oral care protocol consisted of tooth brushing, 0.2% chlorhexidine mouth rinse and 0.9% saline rinse. Children in both groups were evaluated twice a week for 3 weeks. The incidence of ulcerative lesions, severity of oral mucositis and the related pain intensity were used as the main outcome variables. A 38% reduction in the incidence of ulcerative mucositis was found in children using the oral care protocol compared with children in the control group. The severity of oral mucositis (P=0.000002) and the related pain (P=0.0001) were significantly reduced with the intervention. These results support the preventive use of the oral care protocol in paediatric cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2056-2063
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Oral care protocol
  • Oral mucositis
  • Paediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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