Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Dental Public Health

First Advisor

Daniel Caplan

Abstract

AUTHORS: Stella Chukwu DDS, Daniel Caplan, DDS, PhD, Michelle R. McQuistan, DDS, MS, Alice M. Horowitz, PhD, Christopher Squier PhD, Fang Qian, PhD

TITLE: KNOWLEDGE OF RISK FACTORS FOR ORAL CANCER AMONG ADULT IOWANS

OBJECTIVE: To gather baseline data from adult Iowans regarding their knowledge, opinions and practices about oral cancer (OC) prevention and early detection; with a focus on their knowledge of risk factors for OC.

METHODS: A statewide, computer assisted random-digit dial telephone survey was conducted to gather information about OC prevention and early detection among Iowans age 18 and older. The survey contained 36 questions and lasted about ten minutes per respondent. Telephone numbers included landline and cell phone sampling lists provided by a private survey research firm.

RESULTS: Of the 89 % of respondents that answered "yes" when asked if they had ever heard of OC, 54% had high OC risk factor knowledge; while of the eleven percent of those who said they had never heard of OC, 33% had high knowledge (p=0.003). Those that had an OC exam were more likely to have high OC risk factor knowledge (59%) compared with those that answered "no or don't know" to having had an OC exam (45%; p=0.002). Those that were "very or extremely" confident filling out medical forms were more likely to have high OC risk factor knowledge compared to respondents who were "not at all, slightly or moderately" confident filling out forms (54% vs. 45 %; p=0.097).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest strongly that educational interventions are needed to increase knowledge of OC risk factors, early signs of OC, and the need to promote comprehensive OC examinations by healthcare providers.

SOURCE OF FUNDING: Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation

Keywords

health literacy, knowledge, mouth cancer, oral cancer examinations, prevention, risk factors

Pages

ix, 105 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-105).

Copyright

Copyright 2013 Stella Chukwu

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