Year 2004 nearly 1000 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed in Sweden. An early discovery increases the chances for survival remarkably. The dental profession has an important role in detecting oral cancer. Considering that dental hygienists probably will have a greater responsibility in the future when it comes to examinations, knowledge of oral cancer will be important for this profession.
The aim of this study was to examine the dental hygienists knowledge of Oral Cancer in the county of Blekinge, Kalmar and Kronoberg, as well as their experiences in detecting oral cancer.
Questionnaires were sent out to 137 dental hygienists in South-eastern Sweden, out of which 80 responded. The questionnaire consisted of 22 questions concerning their knowledge in regards to for example riskfactors, symptoms, localisations as well as questions about education in oral cancer. Data was processed in SPSS (Statistical Package of Social Sciences), and is shown in descriptive statistic.
The result showed that the dental hygienists had good knowledge in regards to symptoms and localisation of oral cancer as well as the side effects of the treatment. However their knowledge about riskfactors that may lead to oral cancer were generally bad. Of the respondents 49 % had detected or suspected oral cancer. Almost all of the dental hygienists who were asked would like more education on the subject, both theoretical and clinical.
This study indicates that the dentalhygienist role is changing, and therefore more education is needed on this subject.
- Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)