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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 241-246
Advanced virtual mentoring of dentists in oral cancer screening and tobacco cessation - An interventional study

1 Honorary Scientist, School of Preventive Oncology, Patna, Bihar, India
2 Independent Public Health Researcher, Duisburg, Germany
3 Department of Public Health, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson – Arizona, United States
4 Division of Clinical Oncology, Indian Council of Medical Research - National Institute of Cancer Prevention & Research (ICMR-NICPR), Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
5 Center for Ethics, Fogarty International Centre, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Roopa Hariprasad
Division of Clinical Oncology, ICMR-NICPR, I-7 Sector 39, Noida 201 301, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.ijdr_8_21

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Context: Oral cancer is the third common cancer in India. Its mortality can be reduced through early detection and tobacco cessation ideally by dentists owing to their forte of work. Aim: This study was conducted to discuss effectiveness of an advanced tele-mentoring programme in oral cancer screening and tobacco cessation for dentists across India. Settings and Design: Online, interventional study. Methods and Material: The 14-week long training programme with 52 participants/spokes from across India had weekly hour-long online sessions comprising of an expert-led didactic and case discussions by spokes. Online evaluation (pre- and post-training, post-session), weekly and post-one-year feedback were conducted. Successful spokes attended a hands-on workshop subsequently. Statistical Analysis Used: One and independent sample t-tests determined the significance of the evaluation scores of the participants. Findings on attitudes and practice-related questions are presented as simple percentages. Results: A notable increase in the overall and per-session mean knowledge score, and confidence in oral cancer screening was observed. Many participants started these services at their clinics, thereby reducing further referrals, and were also motivated to spread community awareness about the same. Conclusion: This tele-mentoring programme, based on the novel Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes model, is the first oral cancer screening training programme for dentists. This model—comprising of expert didacts, case discussions, and significant spoke-expert interaction—is a promising best-practices tool for reducing the disparity in knowledge and skills regarding oral cancer prevention among dentists across different locations. This would enable these most appropriate healthcare providers to contribute toward the overall goal of oral cancer prevention.

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