The AHCPR Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation states that primary care clinicians should offer smoking cessation treatment at every office visit. In the spring of 1999, all actively licensed dental hygienists (869) and licensed dentists with a Maine address (618) were mailed a survey about their tobacco cessation services and educational needs regarding this issue. A total response rate of 55% of dentists and dental hygienists combined was achieved. The number of respondents was 190 dentists, 384 dental hygienists, and 242 provider type unknown.
Although a third or more of dental professionals were following at least part of the guideline, only 22% of dentists and 26% of dental hygienists "Asked" their patients if they used tobacco, "Advised" them to quit, AND "Assisted" them in quitting. Breakdown by patient age is even more revealing and important because Maine has one of the highest smoking rates in the country, especially among young people. Only 31% of dentists and 32% of hygienists asked teenagers (11-17 years) about their tobacco use "always" or "most of the time." Advice to quit was given to tobacco users of all ages "always" or "most of the time" by 44% of dentists and 56% of hygienists. Implications for public health interventions include the finding that dentists and dental hygienists who had training consistently reported providing tobacco cessation services at a higher rate than those who were not trained. A complementary finding was that a majority of respondents reported an interest in receiving training.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to evaluate how well Maine oral health professionals are following the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research's Clinical Practice Guidelines for Smoking Cessation, with implications for the opportunity offered to public health in preventing and reducing smoking through dental health providers
Keywords: Oral Health, Tobacco
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA