Feasibility of including trained acupuncturists in the detection of oral lesions and oral cancer screening
Keywords:Acupuncture. Mouth neoplasms. Pathology. Oral diagnosis. Training
AbstractAim: To demonstrate the feasibility of enabling trained acupuncturist as professionals able to detect oral lesions, with a role in the screening of oral cancer. Methods: This study was conducted in two phases. In the first, 11 acupuncturists were trained for visual detection of oral lesions and support content available on : , especially developed for this study. They were evaluated at the end of training by a written exam. The inclusion criteria were to sign the consent form and to obtain a minimum of 90% of correct answers in the assessment. Four acupuncturists fulfilled both criteria and were included as study subjects. In the second phase, the subjects and the researcher (gold standard) examined 43 volunteer patients. The inclusion criterion for volunteers was just to sign the consent form. The volunteers’ sample was established by saturation. Volunteers with changes deemed suspicious by the subjects were reexamined 15 days after the first examination. Results: First exam: mouth alterations were detected in 56% (n=24) of the volunteers. Among the alterations, 21% (n=5) were deemed suspicious by the subjects and 8% (n=2) by gold standard. Second exam: two mouth alterations remained suspicious and these volunteers were referred to the Dental Specialty Center for diagnosis and treatment. Compared to the gold standard, no injury remained undetected by the subjects. Conclusions: This study concluded for the feasibility of enabling trained acupuncturist to visually detect oral lesions and have a role in oral cancer screening
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