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Meeting the educational needs of patients with oral lichen planus.

Lichen planus is a chronic oral disorder that is often painful and annoying. The patients have been described as usually over 50 years old, with a high educational level, anxious and high-strung. In previous research studies, these patients have reported unusual and highly stressful life events. Because dentists are in a position to advise their patients about chronic illness, this study was designed to (1) determine what information was given to lichen planus patients by their dentists; (2) determine what questions the patients asked their dentists; and (3) assess what educational materials would be helpful for this group of patients. A survey was sent to 151 biopsy-confirmed lichen planus patients, with a response rate of 55 percent. The results indicated that the patients were concerned about the possibility of malignancy and of contagion, and that they were frustrated by the lack of available patient education.

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