Oral Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Newly Graduated Dentists in Kuwait

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Research and Survey Division, Dental Administration, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.

2 School Oral Health Program, Kuwait-Forsyth, Kuwait.


Background: Oral cancer awareness among newly graduated dentists could have a substantial impact in the prevention and early detection of oral cancer. Objective: This survey was undertaken to assess the knowledge, opinion, attitudes, and practices on oral cancer among newly graduated dentists in Kuwait. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, self-reported questionnaire was distributed to the newly graduated dentists. Of the 310 dentists who participated, 171 (55.2%) were males and 139 (44.8%) were females. The questionnaire included 23- questions on oral cancer knowledge, opinion, attitudes, and practices. Results: The mean age of the dentists was 25.8 ± 2.4 years and their mean years of experience 1.5 ± 1.7 years. Overall, a great majority of dentists (95.8%) recognized tobacco use and alcohol consumption as very important risk factors for oral cancer occurrence. Almost all of participants were aware of the most common form of oral cancer (94.2%). Most of the dentists correctly identified the most common site of oral cancer (93.5%). Majority of the participants recognized the most commonly associated lesions with oral cancer (91.6%). While 37.4% of the dentists agreed that they were adequately trained in oral cancer screening, most (89.7%) believed that patients should have mandatory oral cancer screening at the clinics. Also, majority (95.8%) expressed their willingness to attend continuing education and training courses in cancer screening and prevention. Most of the dentists (81.9%) referred a patient with a suspicious lesion to a specialist. Conclusions: Majority of the dentists were aware and knowledgeable about various aspects of oral cancer. There is a need to emphasize and reinforce the training programs in oral cancer education mainly in prevention and early detection. Continuing education programs and workshops are highly recommended to raise awareness of the dentists on risk factors and diagnosis of oral cancer.


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