The Importance of Assessment Rating Scales for Chemotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis

Laura A. Jaroneski

ONF 2006, 33(6), 1085-1093. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.1085-1093

Purpose/Objectives: To review the literature related to chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis and highlight four empirically supported oral mucositis rating scales that oncology nurses can use.

Data Sources: CINAHL® and MEDLINE® databases, published articles, and supplemental publications.

Data Synthesis: Various oral mucositis rating scales have been developed; however, a lack of consensus exists regarding their use in clinical practice.

Conclusions: To date, standards of practice for the assessment of oral mucositis do not exist, yet clinical measures are necessary for oncology nurses to manage the side effect effectively. The selection of a valid and reliable rating tool is necessary for routine oral assessment and for facilitating optimal patient outcomes related to oral mucositis.

Implications for Nursing: Knowing patient risk factors and the circumstances that exacerbate oral mucositis are keys to performing quality oral assessments. Oncology nurses should make performing oral assessments with a valid and reliable rating scale a priority. Further research regarding oral mucositis rating scales is needed.

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