Putting evidence into practice®: Evidence-based interventions for the management of oral mucositis

Debra J. Harris, June Eilers, Amber Harriman, Barbara J. Cashavelly, Cathy Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Mucositis, an inflammation of the mucous membranes, is a commonly occurring side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. Oral mucositis can cause significant clinical consequences, such as pain, malnutrition, and local and systemic infections. Nurses have a critical role in all aspects of managing mucositis, including assessing it, teaching oral carei administering pharmacologic interventions, and helping patients cope with symptom distress. Mucositis can have a negative impact on the overall treatment experience, especially when severe pain or infections occur. Many interventions for managing mucositis exist; however, some are based in tradition or expert opinion and have not been studied in large, randomized, controlled trials. In addition, a variety of assessment tools are available, which creates confusion and difficulties when comparing interventions across studies. This article reviews empirical evidence related to interventions for oral mucositis. Oral care and rinses, pharmacologic interventions, and other techniques are evaluated. Gaps in the literature and opportunities for research, education, and practice changes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
JournalClinical journal of oncology nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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