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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007 Dec;19(12):668-75.

Florida nurse practitioners' attitudes and practices regarding oral cancer prevention and early detection.

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1
Department of Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine Florida nurse practitioners' (NPs') attitudes and practices regarding oral cancer prevention and early detection.

DATA SOURCE:

A statewide mail survey was conducted among Florida NPs who provided primary care. The questionnaire was adapted from an existing survey instrument used to measure NPs' knowledge, attitudes, and practices about oral cancer prevention and early detection. A total of 448 Florida NPs (33% response rate) completed the survey.

CONCLUSIONS:

Florida NPs reportedly were not well prepared for oral cancer prevention and early detection. Although most NPs realized the importance of annual oral cancer screening for high-risk populations and held positive attitudes toward the benefit of early detection, only 39.3% of respondents thought his or her knowledge about oral cancer was current and more than half had never provided oral cancer examinations.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Florida has among the nation's highest oral cancer rates, but persons at highest risk are among those least likely to see a dentist. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach involving all relevant healthcare providers, including NPs, may be more effective than relying only on dentists' efforts in improving survival rates for oral cancer. Strategies are needed to increase the involvement of Florida's NPs in oral cancer detection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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