Screening for oral cancer/pre-cancer: knowledge and opinions of dentists employed in the public sector dental services of Sri Lanka

Ariyawardana, A., and Ekanayake, L. (2008) Screening for oral cancer/pre-cancer: knowledge and opinions of dentists employed in the public sector dental services of Sri Lanka. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 9 (4). pp. 615-618.

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Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess knowledge and opinions related to oral cancer screening among dentists employed in public sector dental services in Sri Lanka.

Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of a total of 1,020 dentists employed in the public sector dental services as at December 2007. The data were collected by means of a postal questionnaire consisting of 23 items focusing on demographic characteristics, knowledge and opinions about screening for oral cancer/precancer.

Results: 387 completed questionnaires were returned giving a response rate of 38%. The overall knowledge score for oral cancer screening was 2.79 ± 0.76. There were no significant differences between time since graduation, position held and knowledge scores. Around 68-70% of respondents agreed/strongly agreed that their knowledge about oral cancer/pre cancer was current. Though 77% agreed/strongly agreed that dentists are adequately trained in oral cancer screening, nearly 63% disagreed/strongly disagreed that medical officers are adequately trained to perform oral screening. Nearly 81% agreed/strongly agreed that they were adequately trained in oral cancer screening whilst 70% also felt that they needed further training in oral cancer screening.

Conclusions: The results revealed that a fairly large proportion of respondents were knowledgeable about oral cancer screening but as there was a reasonable percentage whose knowledge about oral cancer screening was poor there is a need for continuing education programmes.

Item ID: 33674
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1513-7368
Keywords: oral cancer screening, opinions, knowledge, dentists
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Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 03:36
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110505 Oral Medicine and Pathology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 100%
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