Aims: To identify deficiencies in the knowledge of general medical (GMPs) and dental practitioners (GDPs) regarding early detection of oral cancer, to compare differences between subgroups, and to identify educational needs for continuing education courses on this subject. Materials and
Methods: 165 GDPs and 165 GMPs were directly interviewed to assess their knowledge about oral cancer using a pre-tested survey. Knowledge scores were generated from correct responses of participants to factual questions about oral cancer.
Results: Few participants (15.2% of GDPs and 12.8% of GMPs) reported that they attended any continuing education courses on oral cancer during their professional career. Most participants (81.6% of GDPs and 86.3% of GMPs) admitted that their knowledge about oral cancer was not up to date and that they would need to attend continuing education courses on oral cancer if available. A few significant differences were identified between groups regarding knowledge about risk factors, clinical presentations and diagnostic techniques but the overall knowledge scores showed no significant difference between GMPs and GDPs.
Conclusions: The present study identified several deficiencies in the knowledge of GMPs and GDPs regarding risk factors, clinical presentations, and diagnostic techniques of oral cancer. Interventions to correct these defects through properly designed continuing education courses are required.