Paper Authors and Title

Aisling Mullally (Atlantic Technological University), Paula Conroy, Cristiane da Mata, “Relationship between Diet and Oral Health in Irish Nursing Homes: An examination into staff and patient perceptions”



The study aimed to investigate the relationship between diet and oral health (OH) in Irish nursing homes (NHs) through examining resident’s and staff’s perceptions. It focused on the OH of NH residents and its knowledge within NH staff.


A cross-sectional study was conducted on sixty participants (n=33 residents and n=27 staff) from NHs in Galway and Dublin using the Nursing Homes Ireland website. Information was gathered from participants using questionnaires once written consent was attained. A random 3-digit code was present on each questionnaire to ensure anonymity. Data collected was transferred to a password-protected Excel file. IMB SPSS Statistics was used to analyse some of the findings.


  • The study found a significant correlation between diet satisfaction and resident’s number of teeth (p = 0.013). Residents with fewer teeth reported a decrease in diet satisfaction.
  • Although no statistical difference was found between diet satisfaction and denture presence (p = 0.160) there are trends to show that their presence may improve diet satisfaction.
  • Almost half of the NH staff participants stated that they had received no training regarding OH/hygiene for their residents.


  • Regarding NH residents, OH plays a key role in their general health and wellbeing. Variables such as number of teeth and denture presence can affect diet satisfaction.
  • The examined NHs show a lack of training for staff, potentially affecting the prioritisation of oral care in their residents.

Overall, the research in this area is limited, and larger sample sizes are needed to validate or disapprove the findings in this study.


Download and view Aisling Mullally’s poster.