Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Martin, Ruth E


Oral health is a significant consideration in recovery following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as it is associated with overall health. Health-care providers play an essential role in rehabilitation following TBI. Thus, using qualitative descriptive research and focus groups, this thesis examined the experiences and perceptions of eight final-year health-professional students in nursing, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology with respect to oral health in TBI. Results suggest that health-professional students lack a deep understanding of i) what constitutes oral health, ii) common oral health challenges that may be faced by persons with TBI, and iii) optimal oral care in persons with TBI. The findings from this study may help to inform the educational curricula of the various health professional programs regarding the need to incorporate more educational learning experiences in oral health, TBI, and specifically oral health problems in persons with TBI. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.