2395 Cancer Patient Recommendations and Communication Among Radiation Oncologists and Dentists
R.C. PHILIP, P. SANDOW, D. CHANG, L. BACCAGLINI, G. MITCHELL, and M. HEFT, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Oral complications secondary to radiotherapy to the head and neck are common. It is imperative that radiation oncologists and dentists work closely together in order to reduce the risk of radiation-induced side effects. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the level of communication between radiation oncologists and dentists. Knowledge level and current practices in the prevention of oral morbidity, secondary to head and neck radiotherapy, was also investigated. Methods: A web-based survey, with parallel questions, was answered via email by radiation oncologists (n=116) and dentists (n=42). Questions ranged from topics on communication between radiation oncologists and dentists and recommendations for fluoride use, indications for pre-therapy evaluations, and other issues specific to head and neck radiotherapy patients. Results: The majority of respondents (68.7% of radiation oncologists and 69.0% of dentists) perceived that there was inadequate communication between the two professions. Most radiation oncologists (75.7%) perceived that dentists initiated little or no contact with them regarding the oral care of radiation patients, while almost half (42.8%) of responding dentists perceived that radiation oncologists initiated little or no contact with them. Few dentists (11.9%) believed that radiation oncologists provided adequate instruction on oral care while 44.8 % of radiation oncologists perceived that dentists provided adequate instruction on oral care. A disparity in current practices was apparent when only 17.4% of radiation oncologists recommended a pre-radiation oral examination for edentulous patients, in contrast to 83.3% of dentists. Daily fluoride use after radiotherapy was recommended by only 58% of radiation oncologists compared to 87.5% of dentists. Conclusions: There was a perceived lack of communication between radiation oncologists and dentists. Responding radiation oncologists and dentists were not consistent in their oral care recommendations for head and neck radiotherapy patients. Research supported by UFCD Student Summer Research Fellowship.

Seq #240 - Premalignant Oral Lesions and Oral Cancer
3:30 PM-4:45 PM, Friday, March 23, 2007 Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Exhibit Hall I2-J

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Back to the IADR/AADR/CADR 85th General Session and Exhibition (March 21-24, 2007)

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