Evaluation of outcomes for tobacco cessation counseling in the Dalhousie University dental hygiene curriculum

J Peggy Maillet, Cara L Tax, Nancy R Neish, Allison L Denny
Journal of Dental Education 2010, 74 (3): 311-7
As part of their curriculum, senior dental hygiene students at Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry provide tobacco cessation counseling (TCC). This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the TCC didactic curriculum and its clinical extensions. Research methods included a comprehensive literature search, an assessment of available resources related to TCC, and a structured telephone interview. The interview, consisting of ten summative questions, was conducted to determine the current tobacco use status of clients who had been counseled by a dental hygiene student for tobacco cessation. A target population of 132 subjects was extracted from axiUm, Dalhousie University dental clinic's patient database. The population represented clients who had TCC from 2001 to 2008. The investigators wanted to know if the client was 1) advised to quit tobacco use; 2) informed of the health risks of using tobacco; 3) still using tobacco; 4) taught self-examination techniques for oral cancer; and 5) if any post-counseling follow-up was initiated. A convenience size of fifty-one subjects was obtained. Survey results, along with the assessment of resources, revealed that the current TCC program needed improvement. As a result of the research, changes were implemented aimed at improving the effectiveness of the TCC program, and recommendations were made for further changes to enhance the overall program effectiveness.

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