A pilot-feasibility study of measuring emotional expression during oral care

Kyung Hee Lee, Lorraine Galkowski, Christine Downey, Eleanor S. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the feasibility of measuring emotional responses to oral care among individuals with dementia living in residential long-term care (LTC). Eleven residents with dementia were recruited from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs LTC unit and were observed eight times before, during, and after oral care episodes. Study participants showed a trend toward more positive emotional expressions during and after oral care (mean ± SD: 6.49 ± 1.57 and 6.27 ± 1.20 respectively) than before oral care (6.15 ± 0.86) at the margin of statistical significance (p =.08). Negative emotional expression increased among participants during oral care, from 0.22 ±.35 expressions per minute to 0.60 ±.65 expressions per minute, but returned to baseline after oral care (p <.01). Future studies with more representative samples are needed to more fully examine emotional responses to different types of care, adjusting for potential confounders, and to determine whether residents’ emotional responses influence staff members’ provision of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Nursing Services Strategic Pilot Research Funding (McConnell, PI) and Duke University School of Nursing Small Grant (Lee, PI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gerontology


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