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Oral potentially malignant disorders – An assessment of knowledge and attitude to future education in undergraduate dental students

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Vlaho Brailo, Marcio Diniz Freitas, Jacobo Limeres Posse, Luis Monteiro, Luis Martins Silva, Jean Cristophe Fricain, Sylvain Catros, Mathilde Fénelon, Giovanni Lodi, Raj Ariyaratnam, Vignesh Murthy, Ross Keat, Richard James Cook, Michael P. Escudier, Kristina Horvat, Niccolò Lombardi, Barbara Carey, Rui Albuquerque

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
DOIs
Accepted/In press2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The study formed part of an Erasmus+ project “Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders: Healthcare Professionals Training “(Grant No 2020‐1‐UK01‐KA202‐078917). Ethical approval was obtained by the coordinator of this survey (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and internal ethics was approved by the remaining five universities involved. Final year dental students from all partner universities (King's College London, UK, CESPU University, Portugal, University of Bordeaux, France, University of Milan, Italy, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and University of Zagreb, Croatia) participated in the survey. Funding Information: Six university‐based oral medicine units in Europe (King's College London, UK, CESPU University, Portugal, University of Bordeaux, France, University of Milan, Italy, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and University of Zagreb, Croatia) engaged in an Erasmus+ project entitled “Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders Healthcare Professionals Training “(Grant No 2020‐1‐UK01‐KA202‐078917). The aim of this 2‐year project (31 December, 2020, to 30 December, 2022) was to create an online resource/e‐learning tool for healthcare professionals (HCPs) that will encompass all relevant aspects of OPMD patient management. The e‐learning tool will consist of several modules covering the following topics: clinical presentation, diagnostic procedures, differential diagnoses, treatment and follow‐up of OPMDs. The e‐learning tool will be freely available to HCPs across Europe and accessible in all partner languages (English, French, Italian, Croatian, Portuguese and Spanish). Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. European Journal of Dental Education published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

King's Authors

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and clinical experience of oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) in undergraduate dental students in six European countries (Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom) and assess student’s attitude and preference to future education on the topic. A secondary aim was to identify gaps in student’s knowledge and clinical practice. The study was a part of the Erasmus+ project “Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders: Healthcare Professionals Training“ (Grant No: 2020-1-UK01-KA202-078917). Materials and Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed to all final-year students in six partner universities. This consisted of four parts assessing: (1) knowledge on OPMDs, (2) clinical experience with this group of patients, (3) self-rated competence in the management of OPMDs and (4) preferences with regard to future education. Results: Two hundred and sixty final-year dental students from six partner universities responded to the questionnaire. Response rates varied from 12% to 92% between partner universities. Significant differences in clinical experience and knowledge were found between students. Students with more clinical exposure to OPMDs rated their knowledge and competence in the management of OPMDs higher than students with less clinical experience. The majority of students were interested in future education on OPMDs, preferably via short educational videos. Conclusion: The majority of students have received theoretical knowledge of OPMDs during their undergraduate studies, however, not all had clinical exposure to this group of patients. Students were open to further education on OPMDs. Important deficiencies in knowledge were identified that need to be addressed and it is anticipated that the e-learning platform and e-book that are in development by partner institutions will help to improve overall knowledge of OPMDs.

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