Dentists Knowledge and Attitude Towards Tobacco Cessation Counseling

Amber Kiyani                                   BDS, MS, FAAOMP, Dip-ABOMP

Rabia Ahmad

Maha Ahmad

Mahreen Tariq

OBJECTIVE: Dentists play a critical role in identifying tobacco use in the oral cavity and counseling patients against the hazards associated with this habit. The objective of this study was to determine the current practices of dentists in Islamabad/Rawalpindi towards tobacco counseling, and their reasons, if any, for avoiding such counseling.
METHODOLOGY: One hundred and five self- administered questionnaires were distributed in private dental clinics of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The questions were designed to analyze tobacco history of dentists, their practices in acquiring appropriate histories, their skill in counseling, and reasons for deferring tobacco counseling. The information was recorded on SPSS version 20 and presented as frequencies and percentages.
Results: Out of the 105 questionnaires, only 97 were returned. About 81% (n=79) dentists asked male patients about tobacco use, only 48% (n=47) routinely asked female patients. Approximately 67% (n=65) dentists counsel their patients consistently, while 96% (n=93) counseled only after an oral pathology was discovered. Common reasons for avoiding counseling included belief that the smoking habit was the patient’s business, 35.3% (n=23), fear of offending the patient 21.5% (n=14), fear of negative impact on practice 1.5% (n=1) and the dentists own smoking habit 4.6% (n=3). Majority of the dentists were aware of nicotine replacement therapies but still believed that their background training was insufficient for counseling.
CONCLUSION: The majority of Pakistani dentists have adequate knowledge and positive attitudes towards tobacco cessation counseling. Fear of intervening in patient’s personal matter appears to be most common reason for not counseling.
KEYWORDS: dentist, tobacco cessation counseling, NRT, tobacco cessation.
HOW TO CITE: Kiyani A, Ahmad R, Ahmad M, Tariq M. Dentists knowledge and attitude towards tobacco cessation counseling. J Pak Dent Assoc 2020;29(3):156-160.
Received: 30 January 2020, Accepted: 12 May 2020

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