Evaluating a Web-Based Educational Module on Oral Cancer Examination Based on a Behavioral Framework

Alvin G. Wee, Lani M. Zimmerman, Carol H. Pullen, Carl M. Allen, Paul M. Lambert, Electra D. Paskett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Patients at risk of developing oral and/or oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) are more likely to see primary care providers (PCPs) than a dentist. Many PCPs do not regularly perform oral cancer examination (OCE). The purpose of this study was to design a web-based educational program based on a behavioral framework to encourage PCPs to conduct OCE. PCPs were solicited to provide feedback on the program and to evaluate their short-term knowledge. The integrated behavioral model was used to design the program. Fifteen PCPs (five in each group: physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners) reviewed the program and took a posttest: (1) index of knowledge of risk factors for oral cancer (RiskOC) and (2) index of knowledge of diagnostic procedures for oral cancer (DiagOC). Findings from the process evaluation were mainly positive, with comments on the length of the program comprising the ten negative comments. No significant difference among groups of PCPs (physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners) was detected for DiagOC (p = 0.43) or RiskOC (p = 0.201). A program on OPC for PCPs should be less than 40 min. Postviewing knowledge outcomes were similar for all PCPs. The web-based program on OPC based on a behavioral framework could have similar short-term knowledge outcomes for all PCPs and may increase the number of PCPs performing OCEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health K23 grant (DE016890), Health Future Foundation Faculty Development Grant (#240046), and The 2013 George F. Haddix President's Faculty Research Fund from Creighton University. The authors thank Barbara Bittner from the Creighton University's Office of Research and Compliance; Lisa Wee, M.A.; Kari Welniak and Joyce Winfield, Ph.D. from Writing Resources, for their help in editing this manuscript. The authors would like to thank Fusion Productions (Webster, NY) for help in packaging the web-based education module and incorporating the videos taken by Creighton University Marketing and Communications (Omaha, NE). Acknowledgments also go to Mrs. Lauren Ridgeway, the study coordinator, and Creighton University Health Sciences Continuing Education for providing the continuing education credits for study participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Medical professionals
  • Oral cancer examination
  • Screening
  • Web-based education


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