Document Type : Research Articles
Graduate Program in Dentistry, Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.
Department of Clinics and Social Dentistry, Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.
Background: The oral healthcare offered to pediatric cancer patients at the hospital level must include educational and preventive strategies based on dialogical and welcoming professional attitudes. Therefore, the current study aimed to evaluate the perception of pediatric cancer patients and their parents/guardians about an educational and preventive oral healthcare program implemented in a reference hospital for cancer treatment. Methods: A qualitative follow-up investigation was conducted in which we evaluated the perception of pediatric cancer patients and their parents/guardians regarding an educational and preventive oral health program (OHEPP). The participants were 27 children and adolescents undergoing cancer treatment and their parents/guardians, and the assessment was carried out at 15 and 30 days after beginning the program through semi-structured interviews. The program used audiovisual resources, storytelling and playful instruments for the oral health education of patients and parents/guardians. The interviews were then transcribed and the Discourse of the Collective Speech (DCS) technique was performed for data analysis. Results: Patients and parents/guardians reported improvement in oral hygiene habits and conditions. Patients reported greater enthusiasm for oral care and highlighted the recreational aspect of the program. Parents/guardians reported being more clear about oral changes and paying attention to the appearance of comorbidities resulting from anticancer treatment. Conclusions: This study suggests that implementation of the oral health program favored communication between health professionals, patients and their parents/guardians, expanding knowledge and generating behavior change in oral healthcare.