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General practitioners' knowledge and management of dry mouth - A qualitative study



General practitioners' knowledge and management of dry mouth - A qualitative study



Australian Family Physician 45(12): 902-906



Dry mouth (xerostomia) is common and can have significant consequences for a patient's general and oral health. Multiple medications may compromise the flow and quality of saliva. This study explored general practitioners' (GPs') perceptions, knowledge and management of dry mouth, and whether consideration of oral health influences prescribing patterns. Semi-structured interviews with 20 GPs in Melbourne, Victoria, were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed. GPs who participated in the study were aware of dry mouth, but diagnosed it infrequently. They had limited knowledge about the oral health implications and management of dry mouth, with some offering potentially harmful advice. Some participants reported that dry mouth would influence their prescribing, but few referred patients to dentists for management. Dry mouth is not on GPs' radar, and patients are rarely questioned about this during routine medical examinations. GPs in this study would welcome additional information to enhance patients' oral health and patient resources on dry mouth.

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Accession: 057924955

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PMID: 27903041


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