Assessment of knowledge about oral cancer: study with students of public education

Elisabete Rabaldo Bottan, Iara Fiorentin Comunello, Constanza Marín, Eduardo Mazzetti Subtil


Introduction and Objective: To evaluate the level of knowledge
about oral cancer of students attending public school in one city of
Santa Catarina (Brasil). Material and methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study, using primary data collection. Students of last year
of elementary school and first year of high school, enrolled in public
schools in the city of Itajaí (SC), in 2012, were the target population.
The non-probability sample was obtained by convenience. Data were
collected through a self-administered questionnaire structured with
13 questions divided into three fields. The level of knowledge was
made based on pre-established scores. Results: 1149 instruments
were analyzed (80.8% of the target population). The average age of
the group was 15.5 years and 54.5% were female. The majority (78%)
never had received information about oral cancer. Only 27.9% had
cognizance about self-examination of the oral cavity. With regard
to knowledge, 87.5% classified as unsatisfactory. For most issues
the cognitive field did not identify a significant correlation between
knowledge and the variables gender and education. When asked if
they would like to participate in educational and preventive activitiesabout oral cancer and other issues related to health, 72.6% expressed interest. Conclusion: The group did not have adequate knowledge on the subject of oral cancer. Facing this reality, and the positive attitude of respondents, the researchers designed and offered an educational program to the research subjects.

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