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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-58

Knowledge and practices related to oral potentially malignant disorder among the youth living in Urban slum areas in a commercial city in Sri Lanka

1 Research and Surveillance Unit, Institute of Oral Health, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka
2 Retired, Health Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Halgamuwe Hewawasam Manori Dhanapriyanka
Research and Surveillance Unit, Institute of Oral Health, Maharagama
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_154_21z

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Background: Oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD) is an emerging problem among the youth due to the increase in use of different addictive substances. This study aims to assess the level of knowledge and selected practices related to OPMD among the youth between 15 and 24 years residing in urban slum areas in a commercial city in Sri Lanka. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among a sample of 1435 youths. Cluster sampling technique combined with probability proportionate to size technique was used to select the sample. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Results: The response rate was 99.7%. The mean age of the study sample was 17.53 years (95% confidence interval: 17.40–17.65). A higher percentage of youths had poor knowledge on OPMD (72%). The majority (around 85%) knew that smoked and smokeless forms of tobacco were risk factors for OPMD. However, the knowledge on areca nut packets, alcohol, and areca nut in betel quid as risk factors for OPMD was found to be relatively poor with proportions 31.9%, 21.6%, and 16.3%, respectively. In addition to that, study participants showed very poor Knowledge regarding the clinical presentations of OPMD. Around 10.9% and 2.3% knew that OPMD can present as a white patch and a red patch, respectively. Very few of the study sample (1.2%) were knowledgeable about the self-mouth examination for identification of OPMD. Conclusion: Poor knowledge on OPMD among the youth living in urban slum areas in a commercial city in Sri Lanka alarmed the need of implementing targeted interventions among these high-risk groups.

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