Nigerian Family Physicians' Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Educational Needs Regarding Oral Cancer
Introduction: Family physicians' role in disease screening and prevention may facilitate significant reduction in the prevalence, morbidity and mortality of oral cancer if properly harnessed.
Objective: To determine the Nigeria family physicians knowledge, attitude, practices and educational needs regarding oral cancer.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among family physicians attending the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) National Conference in Benin City in November, 2011 using pretested, self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Of the 100 distributed questionnaires, 80 of them were filled and returned giving 80% response rate. More than half (51.3%) of the participants attended to patients with oral health problems on the daily-weekly basis. About one-fifth (21.3%) and 70% of the participants exhibited good knowledge about risk factors and clinical features of oral cancer respectively. However only 20% of the participants provide oral examinations to patients aged more than 40 years with less than half (47.1%) of them employing both direct inspection and palpation. A total of 86.3% of the participants opined that they are not well informed about oral cancer and majority (95%) of participants expressed interest in learning about oral cancer. Participants reported varied of mode of learning the dominant preferred modes being seminars, pamphlet and posters.
Conclusion: This study revealed that family physicians attend to patients with oral problems but are not adequately informed about oral cancer. The gap in knowledge, shortcomings in practice, educational needs noted should be addressed utilizing the preferred mode of instruction reported by the participants.
Keywords: Family physician, oral cancer, knowledge, attitude, practices, educational needs.