Effectiveness of an Intervention Program on Knowledge of Oral Cancer among the Youth of Jazan, Saudi Arabia


Background: The study is the first of its kind to be conducted in Saudi Arabia (KSA), aiming to analyze theeffectiveness of an intervention program in improving the knowledge of oral cancer among the youth. Materialsand
Methods: A total of 1,051 young Saudis (57% males and 43% females with a mean age of 20.4±1.98) wereselected using multi-stage cluster sampling. Knowledge assessment was accomplished using a closed-endedquestionnaire which was subjected to reliability tests. Prevalence of risk factors in relation to gender wasanalyzed using the chi-squared test. Effectiveness was calculated by comparing the pre- and post-interventionmeans, using the two-tailed paired t-test. Multiple logistic regression was employed in order to determine factorsassociated with awareness of risk habits, signs/symptoms and prevention of oral cancer. The significance level inthis study was set at 0.05.
Results: Females were seen to be more into the habit of sheesha smoking (3.3% ratherthan the use of other forms of risk factors. Prevalence of diverse risk factors such as cigarette smoking (20%),sheesha (15.3%), khat (27%) and shamma (9%) was seen among males. Gender and the use of modifiable riskfactors among the study sample were significantly (p<0.001) associated with effectiveness of the intervention.The intervention program was highly effective (p<0.001) in improving the knowledge of oral cancer amongthe youth in Jazan, KSA. Multivariate analysis revealed that age and gender are the most significant factorsaffecting knowledge.
Conclusions: The study gives a direction for further public health initiatives in this oralcancer prone region.