The findings of a nurse-lead intervention for detection and prevention of oral cancer. A pilot study
Despite the fact that South African men are among the group having the highest risk of developing oral cancer there is currently no population-based primary and secondary prevention services for oral cancer in South Africa. This study aimed to develop an intervention focusing on the prevention and detection of oral cancer and pilot test the intervention in a semi-urban resource-poor community in Tshwane. The intervention was assessed in terms of screening uptake, knowledge and awareness of oral cancer and perception of the educational material developed for the intervention. Statistics were used to calculate screening uptake while a pre- and post-intervention design was used to determine knowledge and awareness and perception of the educational material. Sampling was purposive and all people reporting for oral screening were recruited for the study. The sample totalled 65 (n= 65) and the participation rate was 100%. Notwithstanding a favourable report on the flyer as motivator to take up oral screening the number of people especially those in the high-risk group who reported for screening was disappointing. However, the strategy used to improve knowledge and awareness was successful. Ways to improve screening uptake should be explored and tested to improve the current intervention.