La Trobe
1164585_Kenny,A_2021.pdf (349.07 kB)

Oral health interventions for older people in residential aged care facilities: a protocol for a realist systematic review

Download (349.07 kB)
INTRODUCTION: Poor oral health among older people is a global problem impacting on health and well-being. The economic cost to the health system is significant. An ageing population is intensifying the urgency for action. However, poor oral health, particularly for those in residential aged care facilities, continues to be highly resistant to resolution. The overall aims of this realist review are to: (A) explore and synthesise evidence on oral health interventions for older people in residential aged care facilities, (B) produce a causal theory on how contextual factors and mechanisms interact to produce outcomes, and (C) produce guidelines/policies to inform high-quality oral health interventions to improve older people's oral health in residential aged care facilities. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The review is guided by the RAMESES publication standards for realist synthesis. Participants include older people in residential aged care facilities, the aged care workforce, carers and families. Interventions include oral healthcare, oral health education, policy interventions and oral health promotion. The five-step realist review process of Pawson et al will guide the review: clarification of scope and development of initial framework, systematic searches, study appraisal and data extraction, synthesising evidence, drawing conclusions, and dissemination, implementation and evaluation. Expert input with key stakeholders will occur through a blog. Stakeholders will examine consistencies across studies and an explanatory causal theory will be developed to guide policy and practice. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Formal ethical approval was granted by the La Trobe University Ethics Committee HREC 20144. The developed theory will guide education, practice and policy decisions about interventions and the factors that impact on implementation. Using an integrated knowledge translation approach, traditional research outputs such as international conference presentations and publications will be supplemented with stakeholder forums, infographics, blogs, social media postings, webinars, podcasts and writing for web-based independent outlets. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021155658.


Publication Date



BMJ open






(p. e042937)





Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles



    Ref. manager