Diagnostic delay in oral squamous cell carcinoma: the role of cognitive and psychological variables

International Journal of Oral Science
Vera PanzarellaGiuseppina Campisi


This retrospective study investigated, in two cohorts of subjects living in Southern Italy and awaiting treatment for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), the variables related to diagnostic delay ascribable to the patient, with particular reference to the cognitive and psychological ones. A total of 156 patients with OSCC (mean age: 62 years, M/F: 2.39∶1) were recruited at the Universities of Palermo and Naples. Risk factors related to patient delay included: sociodemographic, health-related, cognitive and psychological variables. The analysis was conducted by considering two different delay ranges: dichotomous (≤1 month vs. >1 month) and polytomous (<1 month, 1-3 months, >3 months) delay. Data were investigated by univariate and multivariate analyses and a P value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. For both delay measurements, the most relevant variables were: 'Personal experience of cancer' (dichotomous delay: P=0.05, odds ratio (OR)=0.33, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.11-0.99; polytomous delay: P=0.006, Chi-square=10.224) and 'Unawareness' (dichotomous delay: P<0.01, OR=4.96, 95% CI=2.16-11.37; polytomous delay: P=0.087, Chi-square=4.77). Also 'Denial' (P<0.01, OR=6.84, 95% CI=2.31-20.24) and 'Knowledge of can...Continue Reading


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