Objective: The best way for effective protection from latex allergy is to educate risk groups. We have been educating students from both medical and dentistry schools about latex allergy. It is of interest whether these lectures make any differences in their perceptions and attitudes in terms of taking strategies against latex allergy. We aimed to assess the effect of latex hypersensitivity lectures on awareness level of the students from both schools and to determine their perceptions and attitudes towards latex hypersensitivity.
Materials and Methods: The study group included the 5th grade students from dentistry (n= 87) and medical schools (n= 160). Initially, both groups were given a latex hypersensitivity lectures in 5th grade. Before graduating, the students were asked to fill a questionnaire in which their awareness level and attitude against latex allergy were assessed.
Results: The majority of both student groups had a partially adequate knowledge level on latex hypersensitivity. However, the rate of anxiety related to latex allergy was higher in dentistry students [78 (89.7%) vs. 109 (69%), p< 0.0001]. The main reason for anxiety was frequent exposure to latex because of profession. But, application for skin prick tests with latex was poor in both groups [medical students: 10 (6.3%) and dentistry students 1 (1.2%)]. Being in a risk category for latex allergy didn`t influence the academic career selection of the groups.
Conclusion: Latex allergy lectures should be modified according to the background and need of risk groups and should be improved by feedbacks in order to increase awareness and provide effective strategies targeting prevention.