The Importance of Assessment Rating Scales for Chemotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis
Purpose/Objectives: To review the literature related to chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis and highlight four empirically supported oral mucositis rating scales that oncology nurses can use.
Data Sources: CINAHL® and MEDLINE® databases, published articles, and supplemental publications.
Data Synthesis: Various oral mucositis rating scales have been developed; however, a lack of consensus exists regarding their use in clinical practice.
Conclusions: To date, standards of practice for the assessment of oral mucositis do not exist, yet clinical measures are necessary for oncology nurses to manage the side effect effectively. The selection of a valid and reliable rating tool is necessary for routine oral assessment and for facilitating optimal patient outcomes related to oral mucositis.
Implications for Nursing: Knowing patient risk factors and the circumstances that exacerbate oral mucositis are keys to performing quality oral assessments. Oncology nurses should make performing oral assessments with a valid and reliable rating scale a priority. Further research regarding oral mucositis rating scales is needed.