Nursing care approaches to oral mucositis in pediatric oncology clinics: a cross-sectional study from Türkiye

Arpaci T., Semerci R., Yılmaz P.

Supportive Care in Cancer, vol.31, no.10, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00520-023-08030-9
  • Journal Name: Supportive Care in Cancer
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Care, Nursing, Oncology, Oral mucositis, Pediatric
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: It is important to determine the approaches for oral mucositis (OM) care in pediatric oncology clinics to reflect the profile of practices. The aim of this study was to report on current nursing care approaches for OM in Türkiye. Methods: The descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted with nurse managers in pediatric oncology centers in Türkiye between April and December 2022. The data were obtained online by reaching pediatric oncology nurse managers. The data was collected with the “Oral Mucositis Care Application Form” developed by the researchers based on current literature. Results: The study reached approximately 60% (n = 41) of pediatric oncology clinics across Türkiye. Oral assessment of children was mainly conducted by nurses (95.1%), and 53.7% of clinics used the WHO Oral Mucositis Assessment Scale. To prevent OM, oral care routines were performed twice a day (36.6%) using sodium bicarbonate (61%) and 0.9% sodium chloride (26.8%) agents. For oral mucositis management, pharmacological agents included glutamine (oral) (51.2%), chlorhexidine (43.9%), and benzydamine hydrochloride (36.6%), while non-pharmacological agents included black mulberry syrup (41.5%), honey (19.8%), and chewing gum (9.8%). Chlorhexidine and benzydamine hydrochloride were used for all mucositis grades, while glutamine was frequently used for grades 2 and above. Conclusions: The study revealed that the practices related to preventing and managing oral mucositis in pediatric oncology clinics in Türkiye are heterogeneous. These findings will contribute to the existing literature on the multidisciplinary, systematic, and evidence-based approaches used in oral mucositis care in Türkiye.