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Oral Oncol. 2008 Apr;44(4):393-9. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Oral cancer and dentists: knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Italy.

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1
Department of Public, Clinical and Preventive Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy. giuseppe.colella@unina2.it

Abstract

The purpose of the survey was to assess through a mailed questionnaire the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding oral cancer and their relationship with different indicators in a random sample of 1000 dentists in Italy. Respondents know the major risk factors and only half identify the diagnostic procedures. One-third indicated the most common form and the early lesions and this knowledge was more likely in those graduated from dental school and attended a course on oral cancer in the previous year. Approximately two-thirds (64.8%) believed that they were prepared to perform an oral cancer examination and to palpate lymph nodes in patients' necks. Multiple logistic regression revealed that this positive attitude was significantly higher for those who graduated from medical school and for those who have attended a course on oral cancer in the previous year. Half of the dentists routinely perform an oral cancer examination on all patients and it was more likely by those graduated from dental school, those who know that squamous cell is the most common form of oral cancer and that an early oral cancer lesion usually is a small, painless red area, those who believed that they are prepared to perform an oral cancer examination and to palpate lymph nodes in patients' necks, those who have attended a course on oral cancer in the previous year, and those who claim they need information. The importance of health care professionals as communicators of public health messages should be emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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