Document Detail

Survey of Michigan dentists and radiation oncologists on oral care of patients undergoing head and neck radiation therapy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22970504     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Oral complications of radiation therapy for head and neck cancer (HNC) are associated with a significant decline in oral health-related quality of life (OHQOL). The dentist, working with the radiation oncologist and the rest of the health care team, plays an important role in the prevention and management of these complications, but patients do not always receive care consistent with current guidelines. This study investigated barriers to recommended care.
HYPOTHESES: There is variability in knowledge and practice among dentists and radiation oncologists regarding the dental management of patients treated with head and neck radiotherapy (HNRT), and inadequate communication and collaboration between members of the patient's health care team contribute to inconsistencies in application of clinical care guidelines. There is on interest and need for continuing dental (CDE) and medical education (CME) on this topic.
MATERIALS/METHODS: A questionnaire was developed to assess dentists' knowledge and practice of dental management of HNC patients and their interest in CDE on this topic. All members of the Michigan Dental Association (MDA) with email addresses were asked to complete the survey online, and a random sample of MDA members without email addresses was invited to complete a paper version of the same survey. All Michigan members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) were invited to complete an online version of the survey modified for radiation oncologists.
RESULTS: The response rate for dentists was 47.9% and radiation oncologists was 22.3%. Of the dentists who responded, 81% reported that a major barrier to providing dental treatment before radiotherapy was a lack of time between initial dental consultation and the start of radiation; inadequate communication between health care providers was blamed most frequently for this. Ten percent of the dentists and 25% of the radiation oncologists reported that they did not treat HNC patients because they lacked adequate training, and 55% of dental respondents said that they did not feel adequately trained in dental school to treat patients who have had head and neck radiation therapy. Most respondents (radiation oncologists 67%; dentists 72%) were interested in CDE and CME on this topic.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a need for CDE and CME for Michigan dentists and radiation oncologists on the oral management of HNC patients. Improved training and communication between health professionals could improve patient outcomes and more consistent application of clinical care guidelines.
Yoshita Patel; Hannah Bahlhorn; Saniya Zafar; Samuel Zwetchkenbaum; Avraham Eisbruch; Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association     Volume:  94     ISSN:  0026-2102     ISO Abbreviation:  J Mich Dent Assoc     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505621     Medline TA:  J Mich Dent Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  34-45     Citation Subset:  D    
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From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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