Dentists’ knowledge and experiences related to leprosy in Cáceres, MT, Brazil
AbstractPurpose: To analyze the dentists’ (CDs) knowledge and experiences regarding leprosy in Cáceres-MT, and their contribution to the detection of new cases. Methods: A descriptive survey study was conducted with 60 CDs. An auto-applied questionnaire was used to collect variables related to professional background, knowledge, and professional experience related to leprosy. Logistic regression analysis was used with 95% confidence interval (IC). Results: Most CDs considered that their knowledge about leprosy was not sufficient, 43% of the CDs had already made referrals of suspected cases. The probability of a CD with more than 5 years working in Cáceres-MT to make referrals of suspected cases was 4 times greater than those with less professional experience (ORadjust = 4.39; IC 95%: 1.26-15.23). For professional specialists this probability was 7 times greater than that of non specialists (ORadjust = 7.73; IC 95%: 1.51-39.64). Conclusions: Almost half of the CDs in this sample had made referrals of suspected leprosy cases, mainly those with more than five years of working activity in the city or with any dental specialty training. However, the professional contribution has been scarce with isolated episodes because of limited specific knowledge of the disease. Key words: Leprosy; oral health; Public Health Dentistry; comprehensive dental care; epidemiology
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