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Indiana Med. 1996 Mar-Apr;89(2):149-56.

Indiana family physician attitudes and practices concerning smoking cessation.

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  • 1Bowen Research Center, Indiana University, Indianapolis 46202-5102, USA.


Most physicians are aware of the health benefits of smoking cessation and agree they have a responsibility to help smokers quit. Many physicians, however, do not regularly address smoking cessation with their patients. Questionnaires were sent to 2,095 family practice physicians in Indiana. Information obtained included: demographic data; office-based smoking cessation practices; counseling; and physicians' perceptions of intervention outcomes. Most physicians (86%) asked new patients if they smoked, and 23% questioned patients about their exposure to passive smoke. Younger physicians, female physicians and urban physicians were more likely to ask new patients if they smoked. A formal smoking cessation program was used by 28% of the responding physicians. Among those not using a program, 7% reported plans to implement one in the coming year, 40% were not planning to implement one, and 53% were unsure. Physician and practice characteristics were not correlated with the use of smoking cessation programs. Only 11% of physicians considered their smoking cessation counseling skills to be excellent; 27% indicated the need for improvement in skills. One-half (52%) believed their counseling efforts were effective; almost half (45%) believed that current reimbursement policies limited their involvement in smoking cessation interventions. Most respondents have not instituted smoking cessation programs in their practices. It is likely that a combination of strategies, including both undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education programs and reform in reimbursement practices for cessation programs, will be required to achieve significant increases in long-term smoking abstinence rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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