The role of primary healthcare professionals in oral cancer prevention and detection

Macpherson, L.M. , McCann, M.F., Gibson, J., Binnie, V.I. and Stephen, K.W. (2003) The role of primary healthcare professionals in oral cancer prevention and detection. British Dental Journal, 195(5), pp. 277-281. (doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4810481)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.4810481

Abstract

AIM: To investigate current knowledge, examination habits and preventive practices of primary healthcare professionals in Scotland, with respect to oral cancer, and to determine any relevant training needs. SETTING: Primary care. METHOD: Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 357 general medical practitioners (GMPs) and 331 dental practitioners throughout Scotland. Additionally, focus group research and interviews were conducted amongst primary healthcare team members. RESULTS: Whilst 58% of dental respondents reported examining regularly for signs of oral cancer, GMPs examined patients' mouths usually in response to a complaint of soreness. The majority of GMPs (85%) and dentists (63%) indicated that they felt less than confident in detecting oral cancer, with over 70% of GMPs identifying lack of training as an important barrier. Many practitioners were unclear concerning the relative importance of the presence of potentially malignant lesions in the oral cavity. A high proportion of the GMPs indicated that they should have a major role to play in oral cancer detection (66%) but many felt strongly that this should be primarily the remit of the dental team. CONCLUSION: The study revealed a need for continuing education programmes for primary care practitioners in oral cancer-related activities. This should aim to improve diagnostic skills and seek to increase practitioners' participation in preventive activities.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Binnie, Dr Vivian and Macpherson, Professor Lorna and Gibson, Professor John and Stephen, Prof Kenneth
Authors: Macpherson, L.M., McCann, M.F., Gibson, J., Binnie, V.I., and Stephen, K.W.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:British Dental Journal
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group for the British Dental Association
ISSN:0007-0610
Copyright Holders:© Copyright British Dental Journal
First Published:First published in the British Dental Journal 195 (5):277 - 281
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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