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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-67

Knowledge, attitude and practices about oral cancers among dental students in H.P Government Dental College, Shimla-Himachal Pradesh

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, H.P Government Dental College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Regional Cancer Center, IGMC, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Science and Research, Panihati, Kolkata, India
4 Intern, H.P Government Dental College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Shailee Fotedar
Department of Public Health Dentistry, H.P Government Dental College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.155643

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Aim: The aim was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices among undergraduate dental students about oral cancer. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among undergraduate dental students between the 3rd and 5th years in H.P Government Dental College, Shimla. The questionnaire consisted of 15 questions, five each on knowledge, attitudes and practices. The data were analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS Inc., version 16 for Windows, Chicago, IL, USA). Results: The response rate of the study was 90.6%. There were 23 (21.5%) males and 84 (78.5%) females in the study. There was a predominance of females (78.5%). The average knowledge percentage for the entire population is 81.9% (excellent knowledge). Tobacco and alcohol were correctly identified by 63.5% of the subjects. Squamous cell carcinoma was described as the most common type of oral cancer by 105 (98.3%) of the students. 60.7% of the subjects strongly disagreed that their knowledge regarding the prevention and detection of oral cancer is current and adequate, and 99% agreed that there is a need for additional training/information regarding oral cancer. About 92.5% of the subjects used to educate their subjects about the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol. Conclusion: The study implies that the knowledge, especially about the etiological factors of oral cancer needs to be reinforced throughout the undergraduate dental courses so that they can use the same in educating and motivating the masses to adapt healthy lifestyles.

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