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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X

Abstract

SOUZA, Luciana Meneses; MICHEL-CROSATO, Edgard; BIAZEVIC, Maria Gabriela Haye  and  ANTUNES, José Leopoldo Ferreira. Scheduling delay in suspected cases of oral cancer. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.4, pp. 642-650. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2011000400011.

The objective of the study was to evaluate scheduling delay of dental exams in the city of São Paulo of patients suspected of having oral cancer. A cross-sectional study was performed in which telephone conversations simulated clinical situations that represented two types of patients: one presenting symptoms suggestive of oral cancer (CA), and another one suggesting the need for prostheses (PR). The scheduling delay was evaluated by the days until an appointment for care; and among public offices, by type of schedule (emergency or routine). Negative binomial regression was used (95% statistical significance). Five hundred and seventy-five public and private dental offices participated in the study. The mean scheduling delay for the CA group was 2.88 days, and for the PR group, 4.34 days (p = 0.01). The mean scheduling delay was shorter in private dental offices (2.59 days) than in offices that accepted health insurance (2.74 days) (p = 0.01); the delay was shorter when performed by the dentist rather than by the dental assistant, 2.45 versus 4.21 days (p = 0.01). In public services, 69% of patients in the cancer group were sent to the emergency service. Dental services were accessible for scheduling clinical examinations among patients suspected of having oral cancer.

Keywords : Mouth neoplasms; Dental health services; Human resources; Dental staff; Dentistry; Dental prosthesis.

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