Dental Hygienists' Views on Oral Cancer Control in North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Bigelow, Carrie
    • Affiliation: School of Dentistry, Division of Allied Dental Education, Dental Hygiene Master's Program
  • The purpose of this study was to assess North Carolina dental hygienists' views regarding oral and pharyngeal cancer (OPC) prevention and early detection. Four major themes arose from two, eight member focus groups: 1) The charge of the dental hygienist is to recognize abnormalities and initiate referral when necessary; 2) The dental hygienist is only helpful with tobacco cessation if the patient has a desire to quit; 3) The dental hygienist is most effective if the patient believes the provider truly cares about the patient's well-being; and 4) There is always a need for continued education in oral cancer screenings and tobacco cessation, specifically for hands-on courses. Barriers to performing OPC exams include: financial, time, and insufficient dentist support. Barriers to tobacco cessation include: lack of patient interest, education materials and resources; smoking parents of adolescents; personality issues and provider-patient diversity. Barriers need to be addressed to improve oral cancer control efforts.
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  • In Copyright
  • Patton, Lauren L.
  • Open access

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