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Am J Addict. 2003 May-Jun;12(3):192-7.

Assessment and diagnosis of nicotine dependence in mental health settings.

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  • 1The Clinical Health Psychology Service, Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, Tex., USA.


This study evaluated the frequency of documented assessment of smoking status and the diagnosis of nicotine dependence in a random sample of 153 mental health records and 152 medical records. The results indicated that tobacco use was routinely documented in the mental health records (88%) and medical records (87%). However, a diagnosis of nicotine dependence was given in only 2% of the mental health records (1/49) and 7% of the medical records (2/30) for those patients with documented regular tobacco use. These results suggest that clinicians do not routinely diagnose Nicotine Dependence even when diagnostic criteria are met.

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