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Physicians lack smoking cessation training
Date:10/27/2008

Physicians and other health-care providers may advise their patients to quit smoking, but few providers have the adequate training to follow their patients through the cessation process. New research presented at CHEST 2008, the 74th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that 87 percent of physicians and other medical professionals receive less than 5 hours of training on tobacco dependence and less than 6 percent knew Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) treatment guidelines for tobacco dependence, including the signs of nicotine withdrawal. Researchers speculate that this lack of knowledge related to tobacco dependence treatment may, in turn, affect quit rates among smokers.

"If health-care providers are unaware of the AHRQ guidelines for tobacco dependence, and consequently unsure of how to treat their patients who are tobacco-dependent, they are less likely to do more than ask and advise their patients to quit," said the study's lead researcher, Virginia Reichert, NP, who conducted her research while at the North Shore-LIJ Health System Center for Tobacco Control, Great Neck, NY.

Researchers from the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control surveyed 600 health-care providers, of which 322 were considered prescribers (physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants), and the remaining 278 participants were considered nonprescribers (pharmacists, registered nurses, social workers, counselors, respiratory therapists, and students). Survey questions regarding tobacco control issues were related to prevalence of smoking, tobacco treatment guidelines, cessation pharmacotherapy, interaction of nicotine with other drugs, and symptoms and implications of nicotine withdrawal.

Results showed that a significant number of health-care providers lack general knowledge related to tobacco dependence treatment. Of those surveyed, 87 percent of prescribers and 93 pe
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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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