Publications by authors named "Thomas Luke Arnell"

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The Role of the Dental Community in Oropharyngeal Cancer Prevention Through HPV Vaccine Advocacy.

J Cancer Educ 2021 Apr;36(2):299-304

Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine, University of Vermont, 89 Beaumont Ave, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA.

As rates of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) continue to rise, the dental community's role in primary prevention efforts related to HPV vaccination will become increasingly important. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge, beliefs, practices, and perceived barriers regarding HPV and HPV vaccine advocacy within the dental community. A sample of 266 dentists and dental hygienists completed an online survey, and responses were then analyzed using frequencies of responses, t tests, chi-square tests, and Spearman's correlations. Ninety percent of providers believe it is important to play an "active role" in their patients' general medical care, yet only 50% believe it is their responsibility to recommend the HPV vaccine. Only 50% feel knowledgeable enough to recommend the vaccine. 78.6% of providers rarely discuss HPV vaccination with their age-appropriate patients, and 82% rarely recommend the vaccine. The two most strongly agreed-upon barriers were "parent concerns about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine" (71.6%) and "parent opposition to HPV vaccination for philosophical or religious reasons" (72.6%). Dentists were more knowledgeable about HPV vaccination and more likely to recommend the vaccine than hygienists. Higher levels of HPV-related knowledge correlated positively with beliefs and practices that support HPV vaccine advocacy. We have identified multiple opportunities for intervention aimed at increasing vaccine advocacy among oral health providers. These include clarification of role from dental professional organizations, alleviation of concerns related to perceived parental objection to the vaccine, and educational interventions targeting knowledge deficits among oral health providers.
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April 2021