4287.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 5:00 PM

Abstract #11192

Maryland Dental Hygienists Perspectives on Oral Cancer

Alice M. Horowitz, PhD1, Piya Siriphant, DDS, MPH2, and Maria T. Canto, DDS, MPH1. (1) Office of Science Policy and Analysis, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 45 Center Drive, Natcher Bldg, Room 3AN44, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-5391, alice.horowitz@nih.gov, (2) Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of North Carolina, CB# 7400, UNC, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400

Maryland has the 7th highest overall mortality rate for oral pharyngeal cancer and the highest for African American males. In 1996 a mail survey of Maryland dental hygienists (DH) explored their oral cancer (OC) knowledge, opinions and practices as part of a statewide OC needs assessment. The purpose of this study was to obtain more in-depth information on DH perspectives on oral cancer and oral cancer examinations (OCE) and factors associated with the provision of OCE for the public. A qualitative descriptive study generated from interviews with two focus groups (FG) was conducted at different locations with 10 and 7 DH selected at random from a list of DH registered in Maryland. A professional FG moderator conducted each FG using a semi-structured interview guide that was tailored to each group. Each FG session was audio-recorded and monitored by the research team. Qualitative content analysis was used to generate the major themes emerged from both focus groups. DH were unaware and even surprised to learn of OC as a public health problem in Maryland; and, based on current evidence they were not well informed about risk factors for OC. Provision of OCE varied based on their individual training, experience, office practices and time. Most DH were interested in courses to hone their skills in providing OCE. These findings complement the 1996 survey findings and provide additional insights for future strategies to help solve the oral cancer problem in Maryland.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session the participant will be able to : 1) identify Maryland dental hygienists perspectives on oral cancer 2) identify Maryland dental hygienists perspectives on oral cancer examinations and factors associated with the provision of oral cancer examinations to the public

Keywords: Oral Health, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employment

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA