Madeleine Kerkhof, former RN, Clinical Aromatherapist; global expert, speaker and educator on integrative and complementary therapies in clinical nursing; author of Complementary Nursing in End of Life Care (2015) and CO2 extracts in Clinical Aromatherapy (2018); Director of Kicozo, Knowledge Institute for Integrative & Complementary (Nursing) Care; The Netherlands. Please find a BIO in the attachment.
In a variety of clinical settings, many patients and especially the very ill suffer from mouth problems. More often than not, various problems occur simultaneously. This can vary from dryness of the mouth, pain and an unpleasant odour from the mouth to extensive candidiasis or other infection. Mouth problems can greatly reduce the quality of life, both in a physical and psychological sense as well as in a social sense. The effects are still underestimated and so far there are little answers in standard nursing care. The overall condition may deteriorate and mouth problems can even be the cause of death. In social life, eating and drinking is an important part of our social interaction, which is hampered by mouth problems. There are also psychological consequences such as despondency and feelings of shame and inadequacy.
Causes can include not eating or drinking, breathing with open mouth, dehydration, infection and psychological factors such as anxiety or depression. These are not necessarily connected to any primary disease, but there can be. Think of local tumour growth, graft-versus-host disease, renal failure, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or diabetes, AIDS, Sjögren’s syndrome, and neurological diseases such as occur in dementia and after a CVA. In case of cancer, mouth problems are usually associated with treatment, such as medication, radiotherapy and/or surgical procedures in the area. Sometimes, a combination of factors is involved.
In this session expert on integrative nursing Madeleine Kerkhof discusses several cases in which (often well founded) essential oils and CO2 extracts have shown extremely beneficial, and offer often better results than standard care, for mouth problems in clinical settings.