Smoking cessation advice: knowledge, attitude and practice among clinical dental students

S Clareboets, V Sivarajasingam, I G Chestnutt
British Dental Journal 2010 February 27, 208 (4): 173-7

OBJECTIVE: To examine knowledge, attitude and current practice among clinical dental students in giving smoking cessation advice (SCA) and to explore the barriers to this activity.

DESIGN AND SETTING: A self-administered questionnaire survey of clinical dental students at Cardiff University School of Dentistry.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 2008, clinical dental students were surveyed (n = 181). Information on smoking cessation practices, students' attitude, potential barriers and level of preparedness to deliver SCA, knowledge of association between tobacco use and various pathological conditions and demographics and tobacco use by clinical dental students were gathered.

RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-one (89%) students responded. All students enquired about patient smoking habits in the previous three months but were inconsistent in providing SCA--only one third of students gave SCA all or nearly all the time. Students had good knowledge of the associated health risks with tobacco use. A majority of students perceived barriers in providing patients with SCA. Those who provided advice were more likely to have positive attitudes and reported feeling adequately prepared.

CONCLUSIONS: Dental educators should address students' perceived barriers towards providing SCA when designing smoking cessation curricula in order to produce dentists who are confident and competent to provide this important health care intervention.


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