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International Poster Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine



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Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 13 (2011), No. 4     15. Dec. 2011
Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 13 (2011), No. 4  (15.12.2011)

Poster 561, Language: English

Public awareness about risk factors on oral cancer in Northern Germany
Hertrampf, Katrin / Wenz, Hans-Jürgen / Koller, Michael / Wiltfang, Jörg
Objectives: Oral cancer is a considerable health problem with more than 10,000 new diagnosed cases each year in Germany. Comparably little is known about the knowledge of the public on oral cancer and its possible relationship to socioeconomic parameters. It was the aim of this project to investigate the knowledge about risk factors of oral cancer in the State of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.
Methods: A well-known German polling firm formulated a telephone-based survey based on a standardized questionnaire. This survey was validated by a pretest and a representative survey (n=1000) via computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) was carried out by the polling firm within the public of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Descriptive statistics of demographic variables of the sample and responses to the questionnaire were reported by means of counts and percentages. Knowledge of the risk factors was further classified according to different socioeconomic categories and their subgroups. All analyses were done with the SPSS for Windows 15.0 software.
Results: More than 70% of the sample of the public knew use of tobacco and a prior oral cancer lesion as risk factors. Other risk factors, such as the consumption of alcohol and older age were only identified by around 50% of the sample. The detailed analysis revealed a relationship between a low level of knowledge and socioeconomic factors such as older age, low level of education, occupations such as e.g. blue collar worker and a low income.
Conclusions: The survey illustrated that the public of Schleswig-Holstein is not well-informed about the risk factors of oral cancer. In addition, the low level of knowledge was associated with a low level of certain socioeconomic factors. Improved targeted health education and health promotion strategies for the public are recommended to improve early detection and ultimately the prognosis of oral cancer.

Keywords: oral cancer, public, risk factors, knowledge, Germany

July 14-17, 2010
Barcelona, Spain