Using the Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Design to Investigate Dental Patients' Perceptions and Needs Concerning Oral Cancer Information, Examination, Prevention and Behavior

M. Jafer*, R. Crutzen, A. Ibrahim, I. Moafa, H. Zaylaee, M. Ajeely, B. van den Borne, A. Zanza, L. Testarelli, S. Patil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate dental patients' behavior, thoughts, opinions and needs for oral cancer information, and dentists' behavior regarding prevention and examination of oral cancer. Materials and Methods: This study utilized an exploratory sequential mixed methods design. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were conducted for forty dental patients of both sexes. Based on the qualitative analysis, a structured questionnaire was developed and distributed among the participants. Data were analyzed for 315 participants to quantify their thoughts, needs, behavior and behavior expected from dentists regarding oral cancer. Frequency, percentages and cumulative percentages were calculated. Results: This study reveals that patients' oral cancer knowledge levels were adequate, but most reported that their dentist had never examined them for oral cancer. Additionally, the participants had never performed self-examinations for oral cancer, nor were they aware of the possibility of doing so. Participants showed a preference for being examined and educated by their dentist about oral cancer and believed it would help early detection. Conclusions: The study participants are aware of oral cancer and its risk factors. The practice of oral cancer examinations and patient education of its risk factors by dental practitioners is limited. Patients feel a need for more attention to be paid to oral cancer examinations, preventive measures and targeted information on oral cancer risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7562
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • early detection
  • mixed methods design
  • oral cancer
  • patient education
  • qualitative study
  • risk factors

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