Time-to-treatment of oral cancer and potentially malignant oral disorders: Findings in Malaysian public healthcare

Raman, Sivaraj and Shafie, Asrul Akmal and Abraham, Mannil Thomas and Kiong, Shim Chen and Maling, Thaddius Herman and Rajendran, Senthilmani and Cheong, Sok Ching (2022) Time-to-treatment of oral cancer and potentially malignant oral disorders: Findings in Malaysian public healthcare. Dentistry Journal, 10 (11). ISSN 2304-6767, DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/dj10110199.

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This study aims to evaluate the time-to-treatment of oral cancer and potentially malignant oral disorders (PMOD) in a Malaysian public healthcare setting while exploring its contributing factors. It consists of (1) a cross-sectional patient survey to quantify time to seek care and barriers faced, and (2) a retrospective medical record abstraction to determine treatment and management intervals. Time intervals were aggregated and analyzed by their primary contributor—patient, professional, or healthcare system. The average total time-to-treatment of the 104 patients investigated was 167 days (SD = 158). This was predominantly contributed by the patient interval of 120 days (SD = 152). In total, 67.0 of patients delayed their visit to primary healthcare centers because they assumed the lesions were not dangerous or of concern. Additionally, there was a significant difference between patients ‘facing’ and ‘not facing’ difficulties to seek care, at 157 vs. 103 days (p = 0.028). System and professional delays were comparably shorter, at 33 days (SD = 20) and 10 days (SD = 15) respectively. Both demonstrated a significant difference between oral cancer and PMOD, at 43 vs. 29 days (p < 0.001) and 5 vs. 17 days (p < 0.001). The findings reiterate the need to reform current initiatives to better promote early lesion recognition by patients and implement strategies for the elimination of their access barriers. © 2022 by the authors.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Asrul Akmal Shafie [Grant no. FRGS/1/2018/SKK14/USM/02/1], Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Access; Delays; Oral cancer; Precancerous conditions; Public hospitals; Risk-taking; Time-to-treatment
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Divisions: Faculty of Dentistry > Dept of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2024 07:06
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 07:06
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/43843

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