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Perceptions of tongue lesions by dental hygiene students and otolaryngologists
Journal of Cancer Education (2002)
  • Lincoln C Gray, James Madison University
  • H K Herrin
  • C Stiernberg
  • G Novosad
  • R Tornwall
BACKGROUND: Consistent perceptions of oral lesions by all professionals who examine the mouth would improve the poor survival rates from oral cancer through earlier diagnosis. METHODS: Two techniques from perceptual psychology measured how 14 otolaryngologists and 85 dental hygiene students judged differences among seven tongue lesions. Multidimensional scaling produced a perceptual "map" showing the underlying dimensions in these judgments. Paired comparisons showed rankings of concern. RESULTS: Otolaryngologists rated the lesions on the basis of size and depth; dental hygiene students on the basis of color and size. Otolaryngologists were more consistent than students, both within and between observers. The ranking of lesions from best to worst was different in the two groups. CONCLUSION: Two groups of health-care professionals attended to different dimensions in making decisions about oral lesions. Variations of these tests could evaluate or instruct students in diagnostic skills relevant to oral cancer.
  • Decision Making,
  • Computer-Assisted,
  • Dental Hygienists/education,
  • Dental Hygienists/psychology,
  • Diagnosis,
  • Differential,
  • Humans,
  • Observer Variation,
  • Otolaryngology/methods,
  • Perception,
  • Physician's Practice Patterns,
  • Precancerous Conditions/diagnosis,
  • Software,
  • Students,
  • Health Occupations/psychology,
  • Tongue/pathology,
  • Tongue Neoplasms/diagnosis,
  • United States
Publication Date
Citation Information
Gray, L.C., Herrin, H.K., Stiernberg, C. Novosad, G., & Tornwall, R. Perceptions of Tongue Lesions by Dental Hygiene Students and Otolaryngologists. Journal of Cancer Education 17:199-203, 2002.