Physicians and smoking cessation. A survey of office procedures and practices in the Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Counseling; *Family Practice; Humans; Patient Education as Topic; *Physician's Role; *Smoking Cessation
OBJECTIVE: To obtain a baseline measure of tobacco control activities carried out by physicians and of tobacco control policies and practices in physician offices.
DESIGN: All primary care physicians in 11 communities were asked through a mail survey about their tobacco control practices. Thirty offices in each community were randomly selected and interviewed by telephone to determine office policies and practices.
SETTING: Both surveys assessed primary care settings in the 11 intervention communities.
RESULTS: The physicians' survey (response rate, 48%) indicated that physicians report intervention with smokers more than 70% of the time, but the interventions rarely include key behavioral elements necessary for smoking modification. Physicians who received formal training in smoking cessation reported that they believed themselves to be more prepared and that they spent more time counseling patients than physicians who were not trained. The office survey (response rate, 83.2%) indicated that smoke-free policies are in place in most clinics and offices and that many offices provide printed materials on smoking cessation. However, few offices had staff to coordinate smoking cessation activities. These surveys will be repeated following the intervention phase of the Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation to assess changes in counseling practices and office policies.
CONCLUSION: There is a positive relationship between attending training and intervening with more cessation activities. Physicians perceive themselves as prepared to help smokers, but few are providing more than advice to stop smoking.
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Citation: Arch Fam Med. 1994 Apr;3(4):341-8.
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