Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


College or School




Program or Major

Direct Entry Master of Nursing Program

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Pamela Kallmerten


Oral mucositis (OM) is a common and costly complication of chemotherapy cancer treatment resulting in high costs and poor outcomes and experiences for chemotherapy patients. At the site of this quality improvement (QI) project, the quality and content of the oral care patient education for chemotherapy patients is inconsistent. The aim of this project was to improve oral care completion and knowledge by 20% among inpatient chemotherapy patients and in turn reduce incidence of chemotherapy-induced OM. A pre-intervention survey was distributed to eight eligible patients to assess baseline oral care completion and knowledge. Patients were provided with an oral care education session consisting of written and verbal education and their oral care completion and knowledge was reassessed in a post-intervention survey 24-30 hours later. The specific aims of the project were partially achieved. Oral care completion improved by 28% for toothbrushing and by 12% for oral rinsing. Additionally, oral care knowledge improved by 28% for OM understanding and by 12% for understanding the impact of oral care on one’s health. While these improvements did not fully achieve the specific aims, the improvement seen across all survey statements demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of the intervention. This project highlights the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) as an educator, client advocate, and lifelong learner.

Keywords: chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis, oral care, quality improvement