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J Cancer Educ. 2006 Fall;21(3):151-6.

North Carolina dental hygienists' oral cancer knowledge and opinions: implications for education.

Author information

1
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Appropriately trained dental hygienists can participate in oral cancer (OC) control.

METHOD:

We assessed knowledge of risk factors, diagnostic procedures, and opinions regarding OC education among 651 dental hygienists practicing in North Carolina using a mail survey. We constructed regression models of factors influencing high knowledge levels.

RESULTS:

Most correctly identified tobacco and alcohol use as OC risk factors, and 52% felt their knowledge of OC was current; however, we identified gaps. Diagnostic knowledge was highest for those who were recent graduates or received continuing education in the last 5 years; 96% were interested in future continuing education.

CONCLUSION:

Increased OC education content in dental hygiene curricula and training programs for practicing hygienists is needed to enhance early detection of OC.

PMID:
17371180
DOI:
10.1207/s15430154jce2103_13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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