Comparative study of knowledge about oral cancer among undergraduate dental students
To evaluate and compare the knowledge of dental undergraduate students about oral cancer.
The students were divided into two groups according to semester attended in the undergraduate course: Group A, the first semester; and Group B, seventh semester. They were asked to answer a questionnaire about epidemiology, risk factors, clinical aspects, therapeutic solutions and oral self-examination. For statistical analysis, the Fisher’s exact test, the Cochran’s G test and Kendall’s concordance test were used, with significance level set at 0.05.
Regarding the prevalent sex, only 8.0% of Group A and 56.0% of Group B judged males as the frequent affected by the disease (p=0.0006). In terms of age, 84.0% of the Group B and 44.0% of the Group A estimated that most cases were diagnosed over 40 years (p=0.0072). Smoking was identified as the major risk factor for 64.0% and 91.6% of Groups A and B, respectively (p=0.0110). On issues related to sex, ethnicity, age, risk factors, self-examination, treatment, professional responsible for treatment and profile of an individual with the disease, the seventh-semester showed significantly higher correct answer percentages than first-semester undergraduates.
There was significant correlation between the right and wrong answers given by first and seventh semester students, making necessary a specific approach directed to their lack of knowledge.