Awareness and knowledge of oral cancer amongst adult dental patients attending regional university clinics in New South Wales, Australia: a questionnaire-based study

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Abstract

Background: Greater awareness and knowledge of oral cancer has been shown to increase patient presentation for opportunistic screening. This study aimed to identify the level of awareness and knowledge of oral cancer amongst adult patients in regional New South Wales. Methods: A total of 444 adult dental patients participated in a self-administered questionnaire at one of five regional university dental clinics between 23rd May and 25th July. Data analyses were performed using the chi-square test and binary logistic regression to compare sociodemographic characteristics and the self-declared awareness and knowledge of oral cancer. Results: The study revealed that 73.8% of patients were aware of oral cancer; however, only 28.8% knew that they had been previously screened for oral cancer. Being female (P < 0.001, OR = 2.57), having an excellent level of oral health (P = 0.042, OR = 3.34) and previous attendance at a dental clinic of the regional university (P = 0.014, OR = 2.89) significantly enhanced awareness of oral cancer. Conclusion: The findings of this study have broad implications for both clinicians and public health professionals, providing a platform for discussion regarding the sociodemographic factors contributing to reduced knowledge and awareness of oral cancer amongst patients. This study also identified an essential avenue to allow a more targeted approach in future campaigns to increase education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Dental Journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2019

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