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BMC Oral Health. 2018 May 15;18(1):86. doi: 10.1186/s12903-018-0539-x.

Patient awareness/knowledge towards oral cancer: a cross-sectional survey.

Author information

1
Center for Oral and Systemic Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America.
2
Family Health Center of Marshfield Inc., 1307 N St Joseph Ave, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America.
3
Office of Research Computing and Analytics, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America.
4
Center for Oral and Systemic Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America. acharya.amit@marshfieldresearch.edu.
5
Family Health Center of Marshfield Inc., 1307 N St Joseph Ave, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America. acharya.amit@marshfieldresearch.edu.
6
Office of Research Computing and Analytics, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, 54449, WI, United States of America. acharya.amit@marshfieldresearch.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oral cancer (OC) is associated with multiple risk factors and high mortality rates and substantially contributes to the global cancer burden despite being highly preventable. This cross-sectional study sought to assess current knowledge, awareness, and behaviors of patients in rural communities surrounding OC risk.

METHODS:

An anonymous 21-question survey was distributed to patients in waiting rooms of a large integrated medical-dental health system serving north-central Wisconsin. Survey results were summarized via descriptive statistics. Odds ratios surrounding health literacy on OC risk factors were obtained using unconditional univariate logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Of 504 dental and 306 medical patients completing the survey, 62.2% were female, Caucasian/White (92%) with 41% having a ≤ high school diploma/equivalent. Current smoker/smokeless tobacco use was reported by 34%, while 39% reported former tobacco exposure. Alcohol use was reported by 54% of respondents at the following frequencies: < once/week, (35%); 1-2 times/week, (16%); 3-4 times/week, (6%); 5-6 times/week, (2%); and daily, (23%). Knowledge about tobacco and alcohol use and increased OC risk was reported by 94 and 40%, respectively. About 50% reported knowledgeability regarding cancer-associated symptomology. Tobacco cessation was reported by 20% of responders. Receipt of education on OC from healthcare providers and human papilloma virus links to OC causation was reported by 38 and 21%, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Patients who smoked > 20+ cigarettes per day were more knowledgeable about tobacco and OC risk compared to non-smokers and those who smoked ≤ 19 cigarettes/day (p = 0.0647). Patients who were alcohol consumers exhibited higher knowledgeability surrounding increased OC risk with alcohol and tobacco exposures compared to alcohol abstainers (p = 0.06). We concluded that patients recognized links between tobacco and OC risk but demonstrated lower knowledge of other causal factors. Strategic patient education by providers could increase awareness of OC risk.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; Awareness; Community surveys; Knowledge; Oral cancer

PMID:
29764414
PMCID:
PMC5952627
DOI:
10.1186/s12903-018-0539-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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