Document Type: Research Articles
Department of Oral Diagnosis, College of Dentistry, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, KSA.
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, KSA.
Background: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is a growing public health problem affecting 2.2 million of the world’s population per year and the rates are increasing annually. The disease is usually diagnosed in later stages, and carries high morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Proper awareness among health care professionals (HCP) is the most significant factor for ensuring early diagnosis and treatment. They should have thorough knowledge to identify all suspicious lesions or otherwise to seek specialist opinion when unsure. The present study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAPs) of OSCC among dental and medical undergraduate students along with general practitioners and specialists of both disciplines. Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted at Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University and its affiliated hospital. A total of 332 participants filled a close-ended online questionnaire. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistics. Results: Of the 450 health care professionals approached, 332 filled the questionnaire with a response rate of 73.77.%. It was observed that the mean knowledge index was higher among dental participants (10.96 ± 1.85). The attitude index was higher at medical side (6.89 ± 1.11), and the practice index was also higher among the dental participants (4.95 ± 0.91). Most of the health care professionals had knowledge regarding risk factors associated with OSCC. HCPs indicated their lack of training as the main barrier for conducting a comprehensive examination for OSCC. Interestingly, the vast majority of HCPs expressed their interest to have further educational and training sessions regarding this malignancy. Conclusion: The study puts forward, the need for intensive training and workshops for awareness and improvement of the abilities of the HCPs, (including dental and medical undergraduate students along with practitioners and specialists) to diagnose OSCC.