Views of oral cancer prevention and early detection: Maryland physicians

Oral Oncol. 2002 Jun;38(4):373-7. doi: 10.1016/s1368-8375(01)00074-4.


The purpose of this study was to obtain in-depth information on Maryland physicians' knowledge, opinions and practices about oral cancer examinations. The qualitative descriptive study used one focus group conducted in a conference facility and nine one-on-one interviews at private medical offices. A criterion-purposeful sampling was used for selection of participants. Generally, we found low awareness of, and surprise about, Maryland's high oral cancer mortality rates. Physicians were not surprised that they detect more lesions than dentists, although most physicians did not provide oral cancer examinations on a routine basis. Physicians were interested in attending continuing medical education (CME) courses on oral cancer prevention and early detection but only if worked into other CME programs on cancer. They were very interested in having hands-on training on performing an oral cancer examination. These findings will be used to implement educational interventions for Maryland physicians to help increase early detection of oral cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Maryland
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Professional Practice