Graduate and postgraduate health-care professional training and postdoctoral fellowship programs that deny trainees opportunities to practice both oral and written communication skills produce an incompletely trained health-care provider unable to compete for faculty positions at university hospitals and affiliated staffs. Therefore, it is imperative that program directors make medical writing a prerequisite to successful completion of postgraduate training programs. To make trainees as well as administrators and faculty aware of the importance of oral and written communication skills, a variety of oral abilities needed for presenting medical findings prior to publication are detailed. The use of 2 x 2 slides to support a presentation as well as transparencies, movies, and videotapes are considered. The poster session/scientific exhibit, now becoming more visible because of increasing attendance at professional meetings, is also explained. Written communication abilities are discussed. Consideration is given to the writing of professional manuscripts for publication in a refereed journal. Other types of written communication include case reports, clinicopathological conferences, letters to the editor, book reviews, books, and book contributions. The opportunity to learn needed skills must be offered in the postgraduate health-care curriculum. Mandatory medical writing will maximize the marketability of black health-care professionals for faculty staff placement. Moreover, the establishment of a "track record" early in a professional career will increase the likelihood that black health providers are awarded grants for research.
Carcinoma of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, while it is the commonest cancer among Indian women. Awareness regarding cervical cancer and its prevention is quite low amongst Indian women. The Pap test is a simple and cost effective technique for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is necessary to make nursing staff aware of cervical cancer, so that they can impart knowledge regarding cervical cancer and its prevention to the general public.
Aims and objectives:
(1) To assess the knowledge level regarding symptoms, risk factors, prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma among nursing staff. (2) To find out the behaviour of respondents regarding prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma.
Materials and methods:
A cross-sectional interview-based survey regarding knowledge levels about cervical carcinoma was conducted among the nursing staff from one of the tertiary health institutes of Ahmedabad, India. A structured questionnaire with multiple choices was used for data collection. Provision for open-ended responses was also made in the questionnaire. Department-wise stratification was carried out, and thereafter 15% of the total nursing staff from all departments were selected randomly so as to include a total of 100 nurses in the current study. Data entry was done in Microsoft Excel. SPSS statistical software was used to generate statistical parameters like proportion, mean, standard deviation, etc. The Z test was used as a test of significance, and a P value of <0.05 was considered as the level of significance.
cervical cancer; knowledge; nursing staff; PAP test
Oral health care is an essential aspect of nursing care. There are many variances in the quality and frequency of the oral care that is delivered to patients by nursing staff, such as oral care being given a low priority when compared to other nursing care elements, oral care being neglected, and oral care delivery being dependent on the nurse's knowledge of oral hygiene. Additionally, there are some particular patient groups known to be at risk of oral health problems or who have existing oral diseases and conditions. As people age their susceptibility increases to chronic and life-threatening diseases, and they can be at increased risk of acute infections increases compromised by ageing immune systems. The aim of this literature review was to ignite the discussion related to the oral care practices of nurses for older acute medical hospitalised patients. The review revealed that nursing staff know that good nursing includes oral health care, but this knowledge does not always mean that oral health care is administered. Oral health care seems to be separated from other nursing activities and is not discussed when nursing care plans are written, only when oral problems are obvious.
Nurses are positioned to play a significant role in oral health promotion and disease prevention across the life cycle. Oral health has not been a high priority in nursing practice, and educating nurses about oral health has been inadequate particularly regarding the interrelationship between oral health and overall health. The first step for developing a nursing workforce with core competencies in oral health promotion and disease prevention is to prepare nurse faculty with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, and best practices in oral-systemic health. The purpose of this paper is to present Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum as a knowledge framework that nurse faculty can use for faculty enrichment and competency development in oral health across the life cycle. A variety of teaching-learning strategies and resources are provided to assist nurse faculty with integrating oral-systemic health into existing nursing curricula.
Oral cancer is increasing in incidence in the UK and indeed worldwide. Delay in diagnosis is common; up to half of patients are diagnosed with advanced lesions. Thus it is essential to develop methods to aid early detection. This study aimed to assess dental patients’ experiences and awareness of oral cancer and screening within general dental practice.
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 184 English-speaking adults, with no previous history of oral cancer was conducted. The questionnaire collected data on participant’s knowledge of oral cancer, experience of ‘screening’, attitudes and feelings towards having a screening, anticipated help-seeking behaviours, health-related behaviours (particularly risk factors) and sociodemographics.
Twenty percent of respondents had never heard of oral cancer; 77% knew little or nothing about it and 72% did not know that their Dentist routinely screens for oral cancer. Overall, attitudes to screening were positive. Ninety two percent of respondents would like their Dentist to tell them if they were being screened for signs of oral cancer and 97% would like help from their Dentists to reduce their risk.
Patients seem generally unaware of oral cancer screening by their dentist but are happy to take part in screening, would like to be informed, and welcome the support of their Dentist to reduce their risk of developing oral cancer.
Oral Cancer; Early Detection of Cancer; Screening; Awareness; Public Health
The incidence of oral cancer is increasing in the United Kingdom. Early detection of oral cancers makes them more amenable to treatment and allows the greatest chance of cure. Delay in presentation and/or referral has a significant effect on the associated morbidity and mortality. Lack of general medical practitioner and general dental practitioner oral cancer knowledge has been shown to contribute to delays in referral and treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the oral cancer awareness of future general medical and general dental practitioners by assessing undergraduate medical and dental students' knowledge of prevention and early detection of oral cancer.
Questionnaires were delivered to undergraduate medical and dental students at the University of Dundee, assessing oral examination habits, delivery of advice on oral cancer risk factors, knowledge of oral cancer risk factors and clinical appearance, preferred point of referral and requests for further information.
Undergraduate medical students were less likely to examine patients' oral mucosa routinely and less likely to advise patients about risk factors for oral cancer. Medical students identified fewer oral cancer risk factors. In particular alcohol use was identified poorly. Medical students also identified fewer oral changes associated with oral cancer. Erythroplakia and erythroleukoplakia were identified poorly. Medical students felt less well informed regarding oral cancer. 86% and 92% of undergraduate medical and dental students respectively requested further information about oral cancer.
This study highlights the need for improved education of undergraduate medical and dental students regarding oral cancer.
Cancer of the cervix is the commonest genital tract malignancy in the female, and it has been ranked second to breast cancer. It has positive association with infection of human papillomavirus. Cervical cancer incidence and mortality have declined substantially in western countries following the introduction of screening programmes. This present study investigated the knowledge, attitude and practice of nurses in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) towards cervical cancer screening as they are important health personnel that are suppose to educate women on the need for cervical cancer screening. The study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey of the knowledge, attitude and practice of 200 nurses in LUTH towards cervical cancer screening. The results obtained showed that 99% of the respondents were aware of cervical cancer and that 92% of the respondents were also aware of the causative organism of cervical cancer (human papillomavirus). Their major sources of information were through electronic media (43.9%) and health professionals (37.4%). Furthermore, the respondents were quiet aware of Pap smear (91%) as one of the screening techniques of cervical cancer and had good attitudes (89%) towards Pap smear, but most of them had never done it before. The study further revealed that majority of the respondents did not know colposcopy as one of the screening techniques for cervical cancer. Finally, it has been made known from this study that nurses have good knowledge of cervical cancer but have limited understanding of the types of cervical cancer screening techniques and poor disposition towards undergoing cervical cancer screening. It may thus be recommended that institutions should periodically organise seminars and training for health personnel especially the nurses which form a group of professionals that should give health education to women about cervical cancer. This training may be done as part of the orientation programme to newly employed staff.
Cervical cancer; Pap smear; Nurses; Screening techniques
This article reviews the epidemiology of oral cancer in the United States, explores the complex reasons for its disproportionate burden in minority groups, and describes the efforts of New York University’s College of Dentistry to address these oral cancer disparities. These efforts include the development of state and regional consortia and networks, public education and community screening efforts, undergraduate dental curriculum development, professional education, intensive research efforts, and significant dental-medical collaborations. Future directions include the need to develop and assess oral cancer education/awareness programs, specifically customized to the various dental-medical professionals/trainees and to populations at risk. Improving the quality of life of patients during and following treatment for oral cancer is another important area that has great opportunity for dental-medical collaboration.
oral cancer; minorities; early detection; prevention; dental-medical
The objectives of the study were to: (1) assess the knowledge and awareness of diabetic patients of their risk for systemic and oral diseases as complications associated with diabetes, (2) to assess their attitudes toward sustaining good oral health through proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, and (3) to the extent that they are aware, to determine how they became aware.
Two hundred self-administered questionnaires were distributed to assess the main objectives of the study. Only completed questionnaires were used in the current study data analysis.
A majority of the participants had Type 2 diabetes (58%). The awareness of diabetic patients of their increased risk for oral diseases is low compared to their awareness of systemic diseases. Their attitude toward maintaining good oral health was also not to desired standard. Of the participants, 50% brushed their teeth once daily and 66% never used dental floss. Regarding participants’ sources of awareness, 37% learned from dentists and 45% through other media sources.
Diabetic patients are found to have little knowledge of their increased risk for oral diseases. In order to promote proper oral health and to reduce the risk of oral diseases, health professionals in both the dental and medical fields need to take the responsibility to develop programs to educate the public about the oral manifestations of diabetes and its complications on oral health.
diabetes; oral health; periodontal disease; oral self-care; oral diseases; diabetes complications
Active home-based treatment represents a new model of health care. Chronic treatment requires continuous access to facilities that provide cancer care, with considerable effort, particularly economic, on the part of patients and caregivers. Oral chemotherapy could be limited as a consequence of poor compliance and adherence, especially by elderly patients.
We selected 30 cancer patients referred to our department and treated with oral therapy (capecitabine, vinorelbine, imatinib, sunitinib, sorafenib, temozolomide, ibandronate). This pilot study of oral therapy in the patient’s home was undertaken by a doctor and two nurses with experience in clinical oncology. The instruments used were clinical diaries recording home visits, hospital visits, need for caregiver support, and a questionnaire specially developed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), known as the QLQ-C30 version 2.0, concerning the acceptability of oral treatment from the patient’s perspective.
This program decreased the need to access cancer facilities by 98.1%, promoted better quality of life for patients, as reflected in increased EORTC QLQ-C30 scores over time, allowing for greater adherence to oral treatment as a result of control of drug administration outside the hospital. This model has allowed treatment of patients with difficult access to care (elderly, disabled or otherwise needed caregivers) that in the project represent the majority (78% of these).
This model of active home care improves quality of life and adherence with oral therapy, reduces the need to visit the hospital, and consequently decreases the number of lost hours of work on the part of carers. Management of the service by the professionals involved revealed excellent control of the process by nursing staff, with minimal visits involving doctors.
cancer; treatment; home-based; quality of life; compliance
Studies have shown limited awareness about cancer risk factors among hospital-based staff. Less is known about general cancer awareness among community frontline National Health Service and social care staff.
A cross-sectional computer-assisted telephone survey of 4664 frontline community-based health and social care staff in North West England.
A total of 671 out of 4664 (14.4%) potentially eligible subjects agreed to take part. Over 92% of staff recognised most warning signs, except an unexplained pain (88.8%, n=596), cough or hoarseness (86.9%, n=583) and a sore that does not heal (77.3%, n=519). The bowel cancer-screening programme was recognised by 61.8% (n=415) of staff. Most staff agreed that smoking and passive smoking ‘increased the chance of getting cancer.' Fewer agreed about getting sunburnt more than once as a child (78.0%, n=523), being overweight (73.5%, n=493), drinking more than one unit of alcohol per day (50.2%, n=337) or doing less than 30 min of moderate physical exercise five times a week (41.1%, n=276).
Cancer awareness is generally good among frontline staff, but important gaps exist, which might be improved by targeted education and training and through developing clearer messages about cancer risk factors.
neoplasms; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; staff development; risk factors; early detection of cancer
Smoking is currently accepted as a well-established risk factor for many oral diseases such as oral cancer and periodontal disease. Provision of smoking cessation care to patients with oral problems is a responsibility of health care professionals, particularly dentists and dental hygienists. This study examined the smoking-related perceptions and practices of dental school hospital-based health professionals in Japan.
A cross-sectional study design was used. The sample was formed from dentists, dental hygienists, physicians and nurses of a dental school hospital in Tokyo, Japan (n = 93, 72%). Participants were asked to complete an 11-item questionnaire assessing demographic variables and smoking history, provision of smoking cessation advice or care, attitudes about smoking cessation, and perceived barrier(s) to smoking cessation care. Eighteen percent of participants reported being current smokers and 15% reported being ex-smokers, with higher smoking rates reported by dentists compared with other health professionals (p = 0.0199). While recognizing the importance of asking patients about their smoking status, actual provision of smoking cessation advice or care by participants was relatively insufficient. Interventions such as 'assess willingness to make a quit attempt' and 'assist in quit attempt' were implemented for less than one-quarter of their patients who smoke. Non-smokers were more likely to acknowledge the need for increased provision in smoking cessation care by oral health professionals. 'Lack of knowledge and training' was identified as a central barrier to smoking cessation care, followed by 'few patients willing to quit'.
A need for further promotion of smoking cessation activities by the health professionals was identified. The findings also suggest that dentists and dental hygienists, while perceiving a role in smoking care, do require training in the provision of smoking cessation care to hospital patients. In order to overcome the potential barriers, it is necessary to provide staff with appropriate training and create an atmosphere supportive of smoking cessation activities.
To determine the baseline information about the knowledge of cervical cancer and explore attitude and practice of Pap smear screening among staff nurses.
A pretested structured self administered questionnaire based survey was done on 205 staff nurses working in Rural Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Saifai, Etawah, containing mostly recognition and some recall type questions about demographics, knowledge about cervical cancer, its risk factors, screening techniques, attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and its practices.
In this study, 74% knew that Pap smear is used for detection of cervical cancer, but only 59% knew that it can detect both cancerous as well as precancerous lesions of the cervix. Only 18% of the respondents knew about human papillomavirus vaccine. A 47% of respondents had never taken a Pap smear; 63% never referred patients for the screening. Most nurses (79%) thought that a speculum examination and Pap smear are procedures to be performed by the doctors. Among all the respondents, only 11% had ever undergone a Pap smear on themselves.
Despite knowledge of the gravity of cervical cancer and prevention by screening, attitudes and practices towards screening were negative.
Cervical cancer; Pap smear; Screening attitude
Persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer. Highly immunogenic HPV vaccines have been developed and licensed for the primary prevention of cervical cancer in some developed and developing countries. This calls for assessment of the knowledge of the HPV infection and the acceptability of the HPV vaccines among health care providers.
The aim of this study was to assess awareness and knowledge of HPV infection and vaccines and to assess attitude toward these vaccines among female nurses at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.
The study was a cross-sectional, descriptive study using a pretested, structured, anonymous, self-administered, 19-item questionnaire.
A total of 178 female nurses were interviewed during a 4-week period. The mean age of respondents was 37.1 ± 3.1 years. Almost all (99.4%) of the respondents had heard of cervical cancer, while about 85% of them had heard of HPV infection. Only a quarter (25.3%) of respondents had heard of the HPV vaccines, and of those only 26.7% knew the vaccines were for the prevention of cervical cancer. Most (70.2%) of the nurses expressed a desire to be vaccinated and 120 (67.4%) supported the vaccination of preadolescent girls. Those who expressed a willingness to be vaccinated were more likely to recommend HPV vaccination for preadolescent girls.
Overall, there was a poor knowledge of the HPV vaccines among female nurses at Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Despite this poor knowledge, most of the nurses expressed a strong desire to be vaccinated and their intention to recommend it for preadolescent girls. The main reason given overall for not recommending the vaccines was lack of information. There is an urgent need to bridge this information gap.
HPV; immunization; cervical cancer
The study was designed to assess the views and knowledge of hospital doctors in general and geriatric medicine on oral health in older people. Eighty two doctors in general and geriatric medicine at two hospitals were shown 12 colour slides of oral mucosal conditions and asked to give a diagnosis for each slide and complete a questionnaire. Completed questionnaires with the answers to the coloured slides were returned completed by 70 doctors.
The majority of doctors (84%) felt it was important to examine older patients' mouths, however only 19% (χ2 p=0.0001) routinely do so. If asked to prescribe nystatin by the nursing staff, 30% said they would do so without examining the mouth itself. Only 9% of doctors knew that wearing dentures was a specific risk factor for oral candidiasis (χ2 p=0.001). Altogether 56% of doctors did not feel confident in examining the oral cavity and most (77%) did not think they had had sufficient training in this examination. Only two doctors correctly diagnosed all of the slides. An early squamous carcinoma was misdiagnosed by 80% of the doctors (χ2 p=0.0001).
Hospital doctors do not routinely inspect older patients' mouths. Even if shown slides of typical oral mucosal lesions many hospital doctors are unable to diagnose them. Issues on training need to be addressed. From the patients' point of view a public health campaign is required to educate older people on the need for a regular dental review and be aware that doctors may not be able to diagnose serious oral conditions.
The aim was to evaluate the need of assistance with daily oral hygiene measures among nursing home resident elderly versus the actual assistance received from the staff. The need of daily oral hygiene assistance was assessed descriptively for nursing home resident elderly who participated in an annual oral health screening in three geographical regions in Sweden, in the year 2008. All individuals of age ≥ 65 years were included (n = 22,453; 6,327 men; 16,126 women). The proportion of individuals in need of assistance with daily oral hygiene measures was 77.5 % (n=22,453), whereas the proportion of individuals receiving assistance with daily oral hygiene measures was 6.9 % in total (n=22,453). The proportions were largely similar in all geographical regions. There seems to be a large discrepancy between the need of assistance with daily oral hygiene measures, and the oral hygiene assistance received, among nursing home resident elderly.
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are oncogenic and mainly associated with cervical cancers. Recent evidence has demonstrated HPV infection in other tissues, including oral epithelia and mucosa. Although a recent pilot study provided new information about oral HPV status in healthy adults from Nevada, no information was obtained about oral HPV prevalence among children or teenagers, therefore, the goal of this study is to provide more detailed information about oral prevalence of high-risk HPV among children and teenagers in Nevada.
This retrospective study utilized previously collected saliva samples, obtained from pediatric dental clinic patients (aged 2 – 11) and local school district teenagers (aged 12-17) for high-risk HPV screening (n=118) using qPCR for quantification and confirmation of analytical sensitivity and specificity.
A small subset of saliva samples were found to harbor high-risk HPV16 (n=2) and HPV18 (n=1), representing a 2.5% of the total. All three were obtained from teenage males, and two of these three samples were from White participants.
Although this retrospective study could not provide correlations with behavioral or socioeconomic data, this project successfully screened more than one hundred saliva samples for high-risk HPV, confirming both HPV16 and HPV18 strains were present in a small subset. With increasing evidence of oral HPV infection in children, this study provides critical information of significant value to other dental, medical, oral and public health professionals who seek to further an understanding of oral health and disease risk in pediatric populations.
Human papillomavirus; Saliva; Oral screening
New York City (NYC) has one of the highest incidence and mortality rates of oral and pharyngeal cancer (OPC) for Hispanics of any major U.S. city. This qualitative assessment explores OPC awareness, attitudes, and screening practices among at-risk Hispanics, health care providers, and community leaders in a Hispanic neighborhood of NYC. Four focus groups (N=39) were conducted with at-risk Hispanics. Structured interviews were conducted with ten health care providers (four physicians, four dentists, two dental hygienists) and three key community leaders. Results showed major gaps in OPC awareness across all key stakeholders. Focus group participants expressed difficulty in accessing appropriate health care. Health care providers were not familiar with OPC prevention and early detection practices. Community leaders lacked the knowledge and resources necessary for advocating prevention and early detection for their constituencies. All participants reported cultural, social, and structural barriers to prevention. There is a need for developing a comprehensive, culturally competent health communication program that targets all key stakeholders in the at-risk Hispanic community of NYC.
Oral cancer; Hispanics; cancer; culture
Historically, the screening of patients for signs of oral cancer and precancerous lesions has relied upon the conventional oral examination. A variety of commercial diagnostic aids and adjunctive techniques are available to potentially assist in the screening of healthy patients for evidence of otherwise occult cancerous change or to assess the biologic potential of clinically abnormal mucosal lesions. This manuscript systematically and critically examines the literature associated with current oral cancer screening and case-finding aids or adjuncts such as toluidine blue, brush cytology, tissue chemiluminescence and autofluorescence. The characteristics of an ideal screening test are outlined and the authors pose several questions for clinicians and scientists to consider in the evaluation of current and future studies of oral cancer detection and diagnosis. Although the increased public awareness of oral cancer made possible by the marketing of recently-introduced screening adjuncts is commendable, the tantalizing implication that such technologies may improve detection of oral cancers and precancers beyond conventional oral examination alone has yet to be rigorously confirmed.
Oral Cancer; premalignancy; screening; diagnosis
This qualitative study explored the impact on oral health-care knowledge, attitudes, and practices among 39 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) participating in a national initiative aimed at increasing access to oral health care. Personal values and childhood dental experiences, beliefs about the importance of oral health in relation to HIV health, and concerns for appearance and self-esteem were found to be determinants of oral health knowledge and practice. Program participation resulted in better hygiene practices, improved self-esteem and appearance, relief of pain, and better physical and emotional health. In-depth exploration of the causes for these changes revealed a desire to continue with dental care due to the dental staff and environmental setting, and a desire to maintain overall HIV health, including oral health. Our findings emphasize the importance of addressing both personal values and contextual factors in providing oral health-care services to PLWHA.
To engage with high risk groups to identify knowledge and awareness of oral cancer signs and symptoms and the factors likely to contribute to improved screening uptake.
Focus group discussions were undertaken with 18 males; 40+ years of age; smokers and/or drinkers (15+ cigarettes per day and/or 15+ units of alcohol per week), irregular dental attenders living in economically deprived areas of Teesside.
There was a striking reported lack of knowledge and awareness of oral cancer and its signs and symptoms among the participants. When oral/mouth cancer leaflets produced by Cancer Research UK were presented to the participants, they claimed that they would seek help on noticing such a condition. There was a preference to seek help from their general practitioner rather than their dentist due to perceptions that a dentist is ‘inaccessible’ on a physical and psychological level, costly, a ‘tooth specialist’ not a ‘mouth specialist’, and also not able to prescribe medication and make referrals to specialists. Interestingly, none of the 18 participants who were offered a free oral cancer examination at a dental practice took up this offer.
The uptake of oral cancer screening may be improved by increasing knowledge of the existence and signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Other factors that may increase uptake are increased awareness of the role of dentists in diagnosing oral cancer, promotion of oral cancer screening by health professionals during routine health checks, and the use of a “health” screening setting as opposed to a “dental” setting for such checks.
Millions of Americans have unmet oral healthcare needs and profound oral health disparities persist in vulnerable and underserved populations, especially poor children, older adults, and racial and ethnic minorities. Nurses can play a significant role in improving the quality of oral health including access to care with appropriate education and training. The purpose of this paper is to describe New York University College of Nursing's response to this challenge. The Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) program is a national initiative aimed at preparing a nursing workforce with the competencies to prioritize oral disease prevention and health promotion, provide evidence-based oral healthcare in a variety of practice settings, and collaborate in interprofessional teams across the healthcare system. The overarching goal of this national initiative is to create an educational infrastructure for the nursing profession that advances nursing's contribution to reducing oral health disparities across the lifespan.
Emergency departments (EDs) are high pressure health care settings involving complex interactions between staff members in providing and organising patient care. Without good communication and cooperation amongst members of the ED team, quality of care is at risk. This study examined the problem-solving, medication advice-seeking and socialising networks of staff working in an Australian hospital ED.
A social network survey (Response Rate = 94%) was administered to all ED staff (n = 109) including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative staff and ward assistants. Analysis of the network characteristics was carried out by applying measures of density (the extent participants are concentrated), connectedness (how related they are), isolates (how segregated), degree centrality (who has most connections measured in two ways, in-degree, the number of ties directed to an individual and out-degree, the number of ties directed from an individual), betweenness centrality (who is important or powerful), degree of separation (how many ties lie between people) and reciprocity (how bi-directional are interactions).
In all three networks, individuals were more closely connected to colleagues from within their respective professional groups. The problem-solving network was the most densely connected network, followed by the medication advice network, and the loosely connected socialising network. ED staff relied on each other for help to solve work-related problems, but some senior doctors, some junior doctors and a senior nurse were important sources of medication advice for their ED colleagues.
Network analyses provide useful ways to assess social structures in clinical settings by allowing us to understand how ED staff relate within their social and professional structures. This can provide insights of potential benefit to ED staff, their leaders, policymakers and researchers.
Following the implementation of electronic nursing records in a psychogeriatric ward, we examined nursing staff's attitudes and perceptions to the implementation of an electronic handover routine. A web-based anonymous and secure questionnaire was distributed by e-mail to all nursing staff at a psychogeriatric ward at a university hospital. Most respondents were satisfied with the electronic handover, and they believed they managed to keep informed by the new routine. The simultaneous introduction of a morning meeting, to ensure a forum for oral professional discussion, was a success. A minority of staff did not fully trust the information conveyed in the electronic handover, and a significant proportion expressed a need for guidance in using the system. Staff that had a high level of trust in written reports believed these saved time, had little trouble finding time and a place to read the reports, and were more positive to the new handover routine.
Oral cancer makes up 1%-2% of all cancers that may arise in the body. The majority of oral cancers consists of squamous cell carcinomas. Oral cancer carries a considerable mortality rate, being mainly dependent on the stage of the disease at admission. Worldwide some 50% of the patients with oral cancer present with advanced disease. There are several ways of trying to diagnose oral cancer in a lower tumor stage, being 1) mass screening or screening in selected patients, 2) reduction of patients’ delay, and 3) reduction of doctors’ delay.
Oral cancer population-based screening (“mass screening”) programs do not meet the guidelines for a successful outcome. There may be some benefit when focusing on high-risk groups, such as heavy smokers and heavy drinkers.
Reported reasons for patients’ delay range from fear of a diagnosis of cancer, limited accessibility of primary health care, to unawareness of the possibility of malignant oral diseases. Apparently, information campaigns in news programs and TV have little effect on patients’ delay. Mouth self-examination may have some value in reducing patients’ delay.
Doctors’ delay includes dentists’ delay and diagnostic delay caused by other medical and dental health care professionals. Doctors’ delay may vary from almost zero days up to more than six months.
Usually, morbidity of cancer treatment is measured by quality of life (QoL) questionnaires. In the past decades this topic has drawn a lot of attention worldwide. It is a challenge to decrease the morbidity that is associated with the various treatment modalities that are used in oral cancer without substantially compromising the survival rate.
Smoking cessation contributes to reducing the risk of oral cancers, with a 50% reduction in risk within five years. Indeed, risk factor reduction seems to be the most effective tool in an attempt to decrease the morbidity and mortality of oral cancer.
Key words:Oral cancer, early diagnosis, quality of life.