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Mrs Ilona Johnson 

Ilona Johnson’s PhD research has involved investigating non-dental health care workers’ emotional experiences of providing oral care for their adult patients in hospital.  This work has mainly focussed on nurses’ experiences. Poor oral health and care in hospitals and care homes is an acknowledged national and international problem.  She has used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine nurses’ emotions, barriers to oral care and the emotional motivation to provide care.

This is a new and emerging area of research within the school of dentistry.  This work has involved:

  • Multidisciplinary cross-organisational working with dentistry, nursing and psychology
  • Establishing networks to conduct the research across  the NHS, Welsh Government, Universities and patient representative groups
  • Ethical approvals
  • NHS Research and Development approvals
  • Planning, data collection and analysis of qualitative research involving focus groups and interviews
  • Planning, data collection and analysis of questionnaire based surveys (paper based and online)
  • Planning, data collection and analysis of computer based psychological reaction time tests

The findings of the research include:

  • An understanding of what oral care means for nurses
  • Enhanced knowledge of the barriers to oral care
  • A greater understanding of the emotional motivation to overcome barriers and provide care for patients


Johnson I.G., Treasure E.T., Smith A. 2010. Emotional barriers and facilitators of mouth care.  Development of an assessment tool.  TC White Young Researcher Grant.  Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow.  £10,000


Speaking of Science. Oral Presentation. 2010.

Spotlight on the Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary Conference Poster Presentation 2010

Other work

Ilona is a core member of the Cardiff R group at Cardiff University.  This is a multidisciplinary group established to provide support and advice for researchers using this software for analysis.  This group successfully applied for an £800 grant for interdisciplinary activities in Cardiff University.