TESTING A PROTOCOL TO INVESTIGATE XEROSTOMIA MANAGEMENT IN A HOSPITAL PALLIATIVE CARE SETTING - A PILOT STUDY
Keywords:xerostomia, dry mouth, palliative care, supportive care
Objectives: This pilot study aimed to test a clinical trial protocol to investigate xerostomia management in palliative care inpatients in Sydney, Australia.
Methods: A pilot study using a double blind randomised protocol was used to compare the effectiveness of treatment groups receiving two commercially available dry mouth gels (Group A (n=5), Group B (n=7)) against a control group (Control (n=6)) receiving sodium bicarbonate swabs over a seven day period. Pre- and post-intervention Likert scales were used to measure change in xerostomia symptoms. Data on the range of measures used for dry mouth relief at trial commencement was also collected.
Results: The protocol was feasibly applied in the palliative care setting. The dry mouth products were not significantly different in reducing the symptoms of xerostomia for inpatient palliative care patients. Participants in all three groups showed worsening of xerostomia symptoms over the trial period.
Conclusions: This pilot study provides a framework for the development of a definitive protocol for further study of dry mouth products used for xerostomia by patients in palliative and supportive care.
Keywords: Dry mouth; xerostomia; palliative care; supportive care