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1.  Dentists’ attitudes, behaviors, and barriers related to tobacco-use cessation in the dental setting 
Objective
This study assessed attitudes, behaviors, and barriers among general dentists in California, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, related to patient tobacco cessation counseling.
Methods
From 2004 to 2008, a baseline survey was mailed to 271 study dentists randomly selected from a master Delta Dental Insurance Company provider list in each state who had agreed to participate in a tobacco cessation randomized clinical trial. Four backward logistic regression models assessed correlates of the five As related to tobacco cessation: Asking about tobacco use, Advising users to quit, Assessing readiness to quit, Assisting with quitting, and Arranging follow-up.
Results
Most respondents (n = 265) were male, had practiced dentistry for over 15 years, asked about tobacco use (74%), and advised tobacco users to quit (78%). Only 19% assessed readiness to quit; 39% assisted with quitting; 4% arranged follow-up; and 42% had formal training in tobacco cessation. Believing that tobacco cessation counseling was an important professional responsibility, practicing <15 years, and asking about tobacco use significantly related to advising users to quit. Providing cessation advice and feeling effective intervening related to assessing readiness to quit. Advising users to quit, assessing readiness to quit, feeling effective intervening, and having had formal tobacco cessation training related to assisting with quitting. Barriers to cessation counseling were perceived patient resistance (66%), lack of insurance reimbursement (56%), not knowing where to refer (49%), and lack of time (32%).
Conclusion
Study dentists reported not fully performing the five As. Advising, assessing, having formal training, and feeling effective increased the likelihood of cessation counseling.
doi:10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00347.x
PMCID: PMC4028076  PMID: 22731618
tobacco cessation; dentists; dental practices; survey
2.  Hispanic physicians' tobacco intervention practices: a cross-sectional survey study 
BMC Public Health  2005;5:120.
Background
U.S. Hispanic physicians constitute a considerable professional collective, and they may be most suited to attend to the health education needs of the growing U.S. Hispanic population. These educational needs include tobacco use prevention and smoking cessation. However, there is a lack of information on Hispanic physicians' tobacco intervention practices, their level of awareness and use of cessation protocols, and the type of programs that would best address their tobacco training needs. The purpose of this study was to assess the tobacco intervention practices and training needs of Hispanic physicians.
Methods
Data was collected through a validated survey instrument among a cross-sectional sample of self-reported Hispanic physicians. Data analyses included frequencies, descriptive statistics, and factorial analyses of variance.
Results
The response rate was 55.5%. The majority of respondents (73.3%) were middle-age males. Less than half of respondents routinely performed the most basic intervention: asking patients about smoking status (44.4%) and advising smoking patients to quit (42.2%). Twenty-five percent assisted smoking patients by talking to them about the health risks of smoking, providing education materials or referring them to cessation programs. Only 4.4% routinely arranged follow-up visits or phone calls for smoking patients. The majority of respondents (64.4%) indicated that they prescribe cessation treatments to less than 20% of smoking patients. A few (4.4%) routinely used behavioral change techniques or programs. A minority (15.6%) indicated that they routinely ask their patients about exposure to tobacco smoke, and 6.7% assisted patients exposed to secondhand smoke in understanding the health risks associated with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The most frequently encountered barriers preventing respondents from intervening with patients who smoke included: time, lack of training, lack of receptivity by patients, and lack of reimbursement by third party payers. There was no significant main effect of type of physician, nor was there an interaction effect (gender by type of physician), on tobacco-related practices.
Conclusion
The results indicate that Hispanic physicians, similarly to U.S. physicians in general, do not meet the level of intervention recommended by health care agencies. The results presented will assist in the development of tobacco training initiatives for Hispanic physicians.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-120
PMCID: PMC1308823  PMID: 16287500
3.  Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Tobacco smoking is the main risk factor for COPD. It is estimated that 50% of older smokers develop COPD and more than 80% of COPD-associated morbidity is attributed to tobacco smoking. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, 38.5% of Ontarians who smoke have COPD. In patients with a significant history of smoking, COPD is usually present with symptoms of progressive dyspnea (shortness of breath), cough, and sputum production. Patients with COPD who smoke have a particularly high level of nicotine dependence, and about 30.4% to 43% of patients with moderate to severe COPD continue to smoke. Despite the severe symptoms that COPD patients suffer, the majority of patients with COPD are unable to quit smoking on their own; each year only about 1% of smokers succeed in quitting on their own initiative.
Technology
Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. Smoking cessation can help to slow or halt the progression of COPD. Smoking cessation programs mainly target tobacco smoking, but may also encompass other substances that can be difficult to stop smoking due to the development of strong physical addictions or psychological dependencies resulting from their habitual use.
Smoking cessation strategies include both pharmacological and nonpharmacological (behavioural or psychosocial) approaches. The basic components of smoking cessation interventions include simple advice, written self-help materials, individual and group behavioural support, telephone quit lines, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and antidepressants. As nicotine addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that usually requires several attempts to overcome, cessation support is often tailored to individual needs, while recognizing that in general, the more intensive the support, the greater the chance of success. Success at quitting smoking decreases in relation to:
a lack of motivation to quit,
a history of smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 10 years,
a lack of social support, such as from family and friends, and
the presence of mental health disorders (such as depression).
Research Question
What are the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on June 24, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations (1950 to June Week 3 2010), EMBASE (1980 to 2010 Week 24), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination for studies published between 1950 and June 2010. A single reviewer reviewed the abstracts and obtained full-text articles for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Data were extracted using a standardized data abstraction form.
Inclusion Criteria
English-language, full reports from 1950 to week 3 of June, 2010;
either randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses, or non-RCTs with controls;
a proven diagnosis of COPD;
adult patients (≥ 18 years);
a smoking cessation intervention that comprised at least one of the treatment arms;
≥ 6 months’ abstinence as an outcome; and
patients followed for ≥ 6 months.
Exclusion Criteria
case reports
case series
Outcomes of Interest
≥ 6 months’ abstinence
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Nine RCTs were identified from the literature search. The sample sizes ranged from 74 to 5,887 participants. A total of 8,291 participants were included in the nine studies. The mean age of the patients in the studies ranged from 54 to 64 years. The majority of studies used the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) COPD staging criteria to stage the disease in study subjects. Studies included patients with mild COPD (2 studies), mild-moderate COPD (3 studies), moderate–severe COPD (1 study) and severe–very severe COPD (1 study). One study included persons at risk of COPD in addition to those with mild, moderate, or severe COPD, and 1 study did not define the stages of COPD. The individual quality of the studies was high. Smoking cessation interventions varied across studies and included counselling or pharmacotherapy or a combination of both. Two studies were delivered in a hospital setting, whereas the remaining 7 studies were delivered in an outpatient setting. All studies reported a usual care group or a placebo-controlled group (for the drug-only trials). The follow-up periods ranged from 6 months to 5 years. Due to excessive clinical heterogeneity in the interventions, studies were first grouped into categories of similar interventions; statistical pooling was subsequently performed, where appropriate. When possible, pooled estimates using relative risks for abstinence rates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The remaining studies were reported separately.
Abstinence Rates
Table ES1 provides a summary of the pooled estimates for abstinence, at longest follow-up, from the trials included in this review. It also shows the respective GRADE qualities of evidence.
Summary of Results*
Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; NRT, nicotine replacement therapy.
Statistically significant (P < 0.05).
One trial used in this comparison had 2 treatment arms each examining a different antidepressant.
Conclusions
Based on a moderate quality of evidence, compared with usual care, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving intensive counselling or a combination of intensive counselling and NRT.
Based on limited and moderate quality of evidence, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving NRT compared with placebo.
Based on a moderate quality of evidence, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving the antidepressant bupropion compared to placebo.
PMCID: PMC3384371  PMID: 23074432
4.  Population-Based Smoking Cessation Strategies 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this report was to provide the Ministry of Health Promotion (MHP) with a summary of existing evidence-based reviews of the clinical and economic outcomes of population-based smoking cessation strategies.
Background
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario, linked to approximately 13,000 avoidable premature deaths annually – the vast majority of these are attributable to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease. (1) In Ontario, tobacco related health care costs amount to $6.1 billion annually, or about $502 per person (including non-smokers) and account for 1.4% of the provincial domestic product. (2) In 2007, there were approximately 1.7 to 1.9 million smokers in Ontario with two-thirds of these intending to quit in the next six months and one-third wanting to quit within 30 days. (3) In 2007/2008, Ontario invested $15 million in cessation programs, services and training. (4) In June 2009, the Ministry of Health Promotion (MHP) requested that MAS provide a summary of the evidence base surrounding population-based smoking cessation strategies.
Project Scope
The MAS and the MHP agreed that the project would consist of a clinical and economic summary of the evidence surrounding nine population-based strategies for smoking cessation including:
Mass media interventions
Telephone counselling
Post-secondary smoking cessation programs (colleges/universities)
Community-wide stop-smoking contests (i.e. Quit and Win)
Community interventions
Physician advice to quit
Nursing interventions for smoking cessation
Hospital-based interventions for smoking cessation
Pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation, specifically:
Nicotine replacement therapies
Antidepressants
Anxiolytic drugs
Opioid antagonists
Clonidine
Nicotine receptor partial agonists
Reviews examining interventions for Cut Down to Quit (CDTQ) or harm reduction were not included in this review. In addition, reviews examining individual-level smoking cessation strategies (i.e. self-help interventions, counselling, etc.), web-based smoking cessation interventions, and smoking cessation strategies for special population groups outside of those identified from reviews included in this analysis were excluded from the scope. Information on cessation programs or strategies in other provinces or an evaluation of current population-based programs in Ontario was also not included in the scope.
Status in Ontario
In 2005, the McGuinty government launched the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, focusing on initiatives aimed at young people to encourage them not to smoke, protection from exposure to second-hand smoke, and programs to help smokers quit. There are currently many smoking cessation programs funded across the province and in 2007/2008, Ontario invested $15 million in cessation programs, services and training. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) fee codes for physician advice to quit also exist.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Research Question
What are the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the selected population-based strategies for smoking cessation?
Literature Search
A preliminary scan of Medline was conducted to identify major systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and health technology assessments (HTAs) in the area of smoking cessation. Based on the availability of a number of Cochrane Reviews on the topic of smoking cessation, a more systematic search of the literature was not conducted. For the economic analysis, a literature search was conducted of relevant databases for recently published article reviews, HTAs, and Cochrane Reviews of the nine identified population-based smoking cessation strategies. This analysis is limited as it is a summary of existing reviews and not a systematic review.
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcome of interest for the clinical summary was abstinence from smoking at 6 months follow up; additional outcomes were examined where available. The primary outcomes of interest for the economic analysis were cost-effectiveness ratios.
Summary of Findings
The evidence suggests that pharmacotherapy, physician advice to quit, nursing interventions, hospital-based interventions, and proactive telephone counselling are effective and cost-effective in the short-term.
There is poor quality data around other population-based smoking cessation strategies including mass media campaigns, community interventions, quit and win contests, access to ‘quitlines’, and interventions for university and college campuses, making evaluation of their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness difficult.
Based on pooled summary estimates of effect and safety data, the most effective strategies are varenicline, buproprion, and nicotine replacement therapies, followed by physician advice to quit and nursing interventions (in non-hospitalized smokers without cardiovascular disease).
PMCID: PMC3377580  PMID: 23074386
5.  Effect of a tobacco cessation continuing professional education program on pharmacists' confidence, skills, and practice-change behaviors 
Objective
To evaluate the impact of a tobacco cessation training program on pharmacists' confidence, skills, and practice-change behaviors.
Design
Quasiexperimental study.
Setting
Wisconsin during 2002–2003.
Participants
25 community pharmacists.
Intervention
A continuing education training program was developed and implemented using home and live training components consisting of the national tobacco cessation guidelines, including the 5A's counseling process. The home study component included lectures and readings in CD-ROM format. Consistent with self-efficacy theory, the live training was based on exercises that included modeling, rehearsal, and feedback to learners.
Main outcome measures
Knowledge assessment, pre- and postsurveys assessing confidence and skill levels, and service provision indicators.
Results
Self-efficacy and perceived ability to counsel patients to quit using tobacco improved significantly after the combined program. No significant change in confidence or perceived skills occurred following home study alone, suggesting value in using a combination of teaching strategies (problem solving, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback). Of participants, 92% received a passing knowledge score and 75% attempted to implement a tobacco cessation service posttraining; more than 50% assisted patients up to 1 year posttraining. A relationship between self-efficacy and service provision was found when practice settings were considered.
Conclusion
This program increased pharmacists' knowledge and self-efficacy to counsel patients on tobacco use. Further, the majority of pharmacy participants attempted to implement a tobacco cessation service.
doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2010.09034
PMCID: PMC2863290  PMID: 20097634
Self-efficacy; continuing education; counseling (patient); tobacco cessation
6.  Smoking Cessation Counseling Beliefs and Behaviors of Outpatient Oncology Providers 
The Oncologist  2012;17(3):455-462.
Many cancer patients continue to smoke after diagnosis, increasing their risk for treatment complications, reduced treatment efficacy, secondary cancers, and reduced survival. Outpatient oncology providers may not be using the “teachable moment” of cancer diagnosis to provide smoking cessation assistance. Additional training and clinic-based interventions may improve adherence to tobacco cessation practice guidelines in the outpatient oncology setting.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Describe current smoking cessation assessment and counseling behaviors of outpatient oncology providers.Identify key barriers to providing smoking cessation services identified by oncology providers.Describe available resources for enhancing training in smoking cessation counseling.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
Purpose.
Many cancer patients continue to smoke after diagnosis, increasing their risk for treatment complications, reduced treatment efficacy, secondary cancers, and reduced survival. Outpatient oncology providers may not be using the “teachable moment” of cancer diagnosis to provide smoking cessation assistance.
Providers and Methods.
Physicians and midlevel providers (n = 74) who provide outpatient oncology services completed an online survey regarding smoking cessation counseling behaviors, beliefs, and perceived barriers. Outpatient medical records for 120 breast, lung, head and neck, colon, prostate, and acute leukemia cancer patients were reviewed to assess current smoking cessation assessment and intervention documentation practices.
Results.
Providers reported commonly assessing smoking in new patients (82.4% frequently or always), but rates declined at subsequent visits for both current smokers and recent quitters. Rates of advising patients to quit smoking were also high (86.5% frequently or always), but <30% of providers reported frequently or always providing intervention to smoking patients (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy or other medications, self-help materials, and/or referrals). Only 30% of providers reported that they frequently or always followed up with patients to assess progress with quitting. Few providers (18.1%) reported high levels of confidence in their ability to counsel smoking patients. Patients' lack of motivation was identified as the most important barrier to smoking cessation.
Conclusions.
Although beliefs about providing cessation services to smoking patients were generally positive, few providers reported commonly providing interventions beyond advice to quit. Additional training and clinic-based interventions may improve adherence to tobacco cessation practice guidelines in the outpatient oncology setting.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0350
PMCID: PMC3316932  PMID: 22334454
Smoking cessation; Clinical oncology; Health care providers; Cancer
7.  The Emergency Department Action in Smoking Cessation (EDASC) Trial: Impact on Delivery of Smoking Cessation Counseling 
Academic Emergency Medicine  2012;19(4):409-420.
Objectives
The focus on acute care, time pressure, and lack of resources hamper the delivery of smoking cessation interventions in the emergency department (ED). The aim of this study was to 1) determine the effect of an emergency nurse-initiated intervention on delivery of smoking cessation counseling based on the 5As framework (ask-advise-assess-assist-arrange), and 2) assess ED nurses’ and physicians’ perceptions of smoking cessation counseling.
Methods
The authors conducted a pre-post trial in 789 adult smokers (five or more cigarettes/day) who presented to two EDs. The intervention focused on improving delivery of the 5As by ED nurses and physicians, and included face-to-face training and an online tutorial, use of a charting/reminder tool, fax referral of motivated smokers to the state tobacco quitline for proactive telephone counseling, and group feedback to ED staff. To assess ED performance of cessation counseling, a telephone interview of subjects was conducted shortly after the ED visit. Nurses’ and physicians’ self-efficacy, role satisfaction, and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling were assessed by survey. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the effect of the intervention on performance of the 5As, while adjusting for key covariates.
Results
Of 650 smokers who completed the post-ED interview, a greater proportion had been asked about smoking by an ED nurse (68% vs. 53%, adjusted OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.9), assessed for willingness to quit (31% vs. 9%, adjusted OR= 4.9, 95% CI = 2.9 to 7.9), assisted in quitting (23% vs. 6%, adjusted OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 2.7 to 9.5), and had arrangements for follow-up cessation counseling (7% vs. 1%, adjusted OR = 7.1, 95% CI = 2.3 to 21) during the intervention compared to the baseline period. A similar increase was observed for emergency physicians. ED nurses’ self-efficacy and role satisfaction in cessation counseling significantly improved following the intervention; however, there was no change in “pros” and “cons” attitudes toward smoking cessation in either ED nurses or physicians.
Conclusions
Emergency department nurses and physicians can effectively deliver smoking cessation counseling to smokers in a time-efficient manner. This trial also provides empirical support for expert recommendations that call for nursing staff to play a larger role in delivering public health interventions in the ED.
doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01331.x
PMCID: PMC3334343  PMID: 22506945
8.  Promoting smoking cessation during hospitalization for coronary artery disease 
BACKGROUND
Quitting smoking is the most effective intervention to reduce mortality in patients with coronary artery disease who smoke. Guidelines for the treatment of tobacco dependency recommend that health care institutions develop plans to support the consistent and effective identification and treatment of tobacco users. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (Ottawa, Ontario) has implemented an institutional program to identify and treat all smokers admitted to the Institute.
OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the present paper are to describe core elements of this program and present data concerning its reach and effectiveness.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The goal of the program is to increase the number of smokers who are abstinent from smoking six months after a coronary artery disease-related hospitalization. Core elements of the program include: documentation of smoking status at hospital admission; inclusion of cessation intervention on patient care maps; individualized, bedside counselling by a nurse counsellor; the appropriate and timely use of nicotine replacement therapy; automated telephone follow-up; referral to outpatient cessation resources; and training of medical residents and nursing staff. Program reach and effectiveness were measured over a one-year period.
RESULTS
Between April 2003 and March 2004, almost 1300 smokers were identified at admission, and 91% received intervention to help them quit smoking. At six-month follow-up, 44% were smoke-free.
CONCLUSIONS
Hospitalization for coronary artery disease provides an important opportunity to intervene with smokers when their motivation to quit is high. An institutional approach reinforces the importance of smoking cessation in this patient population and increases the rate of smoking cessation. Posthospitalization quit rates should be a benchmark of cardiac program performance.
PMCID: PMC2560518  PMID: 16835672
Coronary disease; Health care delivery; Prevention; Smoking
9.  Smoking cessation activities by general practitioners and practice nurses 
Tobacco Control  2001;10(1):27-32.
OBJECTIVES—To assess general practitioners' and practice nurses' self reported behaviour, attitudes, and knowledge in relation to smoking cessation.
DESIGN AND SETTING—Two postal surveys of random national samples of 303 GPs (survey 1) and 459 practice nurses (survey 2) covering England and Wales; effective response rates were 75% and 96%, respectively.
RESULTS—Survey 1 found that 96% of GPs accepted that intervening against smoking was part of their role and almost all (99%) said that they recorded smoking status when patients registered; 57% reported that they routinely updated their records on smoking status, 50% said they advised smokers to stop during most or all consultations, and 76% said they advised smokers to cut down if they cannot stop. A large majority (83%) said they either recommended or prescribed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Although most GPs (86%) thought that NRTs were effective, only a minority thought they were worth the cost (47%) or should be on National Health Service (NHS) prescription (32%). There was little evidence that previous training in smoking cessation was associated with more activity, more positive attitudes, or greater knowledge. Survey 2 found that almost all practice nurses (99%) agreed that intervening against smoking was part of their role and 95% said they advised patients to stop at least occasionally; 71% said they advised smokers to stop at most or all consultations. A majority (74%) said that they recommended NRT to their patients. As with the GPs most practice nurses thought that nicotine replacement was effective (79%), but fewer (42%) thought the cost was justified, and only about half (53%) thought it should be available on NHS prescription. Nurses who said they had been trained in smoking cessation engaged in more activity relating to smoking cessation, had more positive attitudes, and were more knowledgeable.
CONCLUSION—GPs and practice nurses accepted that intervening with smoking was an important part of their role and a large majority reported that they intervened at least with some smokers. This represents a promising baseline from which to proceed in terms of implementation of the new smoking cessation guidelines, but it is hoped that improvements can be made in terms of the frequency of updating records and intervening, and acceptance of the cost-effectiveness of NRT as a life preserving intervention.


Keywords: cessation interventions; general practitioners; practice nurses
doi:10.1136/tc.10.1.27
PMCID: PMC1763978  PMID: 11226357
10.  Perceptions and Practices of Japanese Nurses Regarding Tobacco Intervention for Cancer Patients 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(5):391-397.
Background
We investigated the perceptions and practices regarding tobacco intervention among nurses, as improvement of such practices is important for the management of patients who smoke.
Methods
Self-administered questionnaires were delivered by hospital administrative sections for nursing staff to 2676 nurses who were working in 3 cancer hospitals and 3 general hospitals. Of these, 2215 (82.8%) responded.
Results
Most nurses strongly agreed that cancer patients who had preoperative or early-clinical-stage cancer but continued to smoke should be offered a tobacco use intervention. In contrast, they felt less need to provide tobacco use intervention to patients with incurable cancer who smoked. Most nurses felt that although they assessed and documented the tobacco status of cancer patients, they were not successful in providing cessation advice, assessing patient readiness to quit, and providing individualized information on the harmful effects of tobacco use. In multivariate analysis, nurses who received instruction on smoking cessation programs during nursing school were more likely to give cessation advice (odds ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.15–2.26), assess readiness to quit (1.73, 1.09–2.75), and offer individualized explanations of the harmful effects of tobacco (1.94, 1.39–2.69), as compared with nurses who had not received such instruction.
Conclusions
The perceptions of Japanese nurses regarding tobacco intervention for cancer patients differed greatly by patient treatment status and prognosis. The findings highlight the importance of offering appropriate instruction on smoking cessation to students in nursing schools in Japan.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20110008
PMCID: PMC3899439  PMID: 21821967
smoking cessation; intervention; nurses; perception
11.  Physician's practices and perspectives regarding tobacco cessation in a teaching hospital in Mysore City, Karnataka 
Indian Journal of Psychiatry  2014;56(1):24-28.
Context:
Tobacco is a leading cause of disease and premature death. Most of the smokers visit a doctor for various health related ailments and thus such clinic visits provide many opportunities for interventions and professional tobacco cessation advice.
Aims:
The primary aim of the following study is to assess the physician practices, perspectives, resources, barriers and education relating to tobacco cessation and their perceived need for training for the same. The secondary aim is to compare the physician's cessation practices from patient's perspective.
Settings and Design:
A descriptive study was conducted in a hospital attached to Medical College in Mysore city, Karnataka.
Materials and Methods:
Information about doctor's practices, perspectives and their perceived need for training in tobacco cessation were collected using pre-structured self-administered Questionnaire, which were distributed in person. Patient's practices and perspectives were assessed using a pre-structured Oral Questionnaire.
Results:
Almost 95% of physicians said that they ask patients about their smoking status and 94% advise them to quit smoking, but only 50% assist the patient to quit smoking and only 28% arrange follow-up visits. Thus, they do not regularly provide assistance to help patients quit, even though 98% of the physicians believed that helping patients to quit was a part of their role. Only 18% and 35% of the physicians said that Undergraduate Medical Education and Post Graduate Medical Education respectively prepared them very well to participate in smoking cessation activities.
Conclusions:
Tobacco cessation requires repeated and regular assistance. Such assistance is not being provided to patients by attending doctors. Our medical education system is failing to impart the necessary skills to doctors, needed to help patients quit smoking. Reforms in education are needed so as to prepare the physician to effectively address this problem.
doi:10.4103/0019-5545.124710
PMCID: PMC3927241  PMID: 24574555
Karnataka; Mysore; physician's practices and perspectives; smoking; tobacco; tobacco cessation
12.  Implementing Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Hospitalized Veterans: Effects on Nurse Attitudes and Performance 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(11):1420-1429.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
A minority of hospitalized smokers actually receives assistance in quitting during hospitalization or cessation counseling following discharge. This study aims to determine the impact of a guideline-based intervention on 1) nurses’ delivery of the 5A’s (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange follow-up) in hospitalized smokers, and 2) nurses’ attitudes toward the intervention.
METHODS
We conducted a pre-post guideline implementation trial involving 205 hospitalized smokers on the inpatient medicine units at one US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. The intervention included: 1) academic detailing of nurses on delivery of brief cessation counseling, 2) modification of the admission form to facilitate 5A’s documentation, and 3) referral of motivated inpatients to receive proactive telephone counseling. Based on subject interviews, we calculated a nursing 5A’s composite score for each patient (ranging from 0 to 9). We used linear regression with generalized estimating equations to compare the 5A’s composite score (and logistic regression to compare individual A’s) across periods. We compared 29 nurses’ ratings of their self-efficacy and decisional balance (“pros” and “cons”) with regard to cessation counseling before and after guideline implementation. Following implementation, we also interviewed a purposeful sample of nurses to assess their attitudes toward the intervention.
RESULTS
Of 193 smokers who completed the pre-discharge interview, the mean nursing 5A’s composite score was higher after guideline implementation (3.9 vs. 3.1, adjusted difference 1.0, 95 % CI 0.5–1.6). More patients were advised to quit (62 vs. 48 %, adjusted OR = 2.1, 95 % CI = 1.2–3.5) and were assisted in quitting (70 vs. 45 %, adjusted OR = 2.9, 95 % CI = 1.6–5.3) by a nurse during the post-implementation period. Nurses’ attitudes toward cessation counseling improved following guideline implementation (35.3 vs. 32.7 on “pros” subscale, p = 0.01), without significant change on the “cons” subscale.
CONCLUSIONS
A multifaceted intervention including academic detailing and adaptation of the nursing admission template is an effective strategy for improving nurses’ delivery of brief cessation counseling in medical inpatients.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2464-7
PMCID: PMC3797327  PMID: 23649783
smoking cessation; Veterans; counseling; guideline-based intervention
13.  A Longitudinal Study of Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Dependence Treatments in Massachusetts and Associated Decreases in Hospitalizations for Cardiovascular Disease 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000375.
Thomas Land and colleagues show that among Massachusetts Medicaid subscribers, use of a comprehensive tobacco cessation pharmacotherapy benefit was followed by a substantial decrease in claims for hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction and acute coronary heart disease.
Background
Insurance coverage of tobacco cessation medications increases their use and reduces smoking prevalence in a population. However, uncertainty about the impact of this coverage on health care utilization and costs is a barrier to the broader adoption of this policy, especially by publicly funded state Medicaid insurance programs. Whether a publicly funded tobacco cessation benefit leads to decreased medical claims for tobacco-related diseases has not been studied. We examined the experience of Massachusetts, whose Medicaid program adopted comprehensive coverage of tobacco cessation medications in July 2006. Over 75,000 Medicaid subscribers used the benefit in the first 2.5 years. On the basis of earlier secondary survey work, it was estimated that smoking prevalence declined among subscribers by 10% during this period.
Methods and Findings
Using claims data, we compared the probability of hospitalization prior to use of the tobacco cessation pharmacotherapy benefit with the probability of hospitalization after benefit use among Massachusetts Medicaid beneficiaries, adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, seasonality, influenza cases, and the implementation of the statewide smoke-free air law using generalized estimating equations. Statistically significant annualized declines of 46% (95% confidence interval 2%–70%) and 49% (95% confidence interval 6%–72%) were observed in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction and other acute coronary heart disease diagnoses, respectively. There were no significant decreases in hospitalizations rates for respiratory diagnoses or seven other diagnostic groups evaluated.
Conclusions
Among Massachusetts Medicaid subscribers, use of a comprehensive tobacco cessation pharmacotherapy benefit was associated with a significant decrease in claims for hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction and acute coronary heart disease, but no significant change in hospital claims for other diagnoses. For low-income smokers, removing the barriers to the use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy has the potential to decrease short-term utilization of hospital services.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. Globally, it is responsible for one in ten deaths among adults. In developed countries, the death toll is even higher—in the USA and the UK, for example, one in five deaths are caused by cigarette smoking. In the USA alone, where a fifth of adults smoke, smoking accounts for more than 400,000 deaths every year; globally, smoking causes 5 million deaths per year. On average, smokers die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers, and half of all long-term smokers will die prematurely because of a smoking-related disease. These diseases include lung cancer, other types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases such as chronic airway obstruction, bronchitis, and emphysema. And, for every smoker who dies from one of these smoking-related diseases, another 20 will develop at least one serious disease because of their addiction to tobacco.
Why Was This Study Done?
About half of US smokers try to quit each year but most of these attempts fail. Many experts believe that counseling and/or treatment with tobacco cessation medications such as nicotine replacement products help smokers to quit. In the USA, where health care is paid for through private or state health insurance, there is some evidence that insurance coverage of tobacco cessation medications increases their use and reduces smoking prevalence. However, smoking cessation treatment is poorly covered by US health insurance programs, largely because of uncertainty about the impact of such coverage on health care costs. It is unknown, for example, whether the introduction of publicly funded tobacco cessation benefits decreases claims for treatment for tobacco-related diseases. In this longitudinal study (a study that follows a group of individuals over a period of time), the researchers ask whether the adoption of comprehensive coverage of tobacco cessation medications by the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth) in July 2006 has affected claims for treatment for tobacco-related diseases. During its first two and half years, more than 75,000 MassHealth subscribers used the tobacco cessation medication benefit and smoking prevalence among subscribers declined by approximately 10% (38.3% to 28.8%).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used MassHealth claims data and a statistical method called generalized estimating equations to compare the probability of hospitalization prior to the use of tobacco cessation medication benefit with the probability of hospitalization after benefit use among MassHealth subscribers. After adjusting for other factors that might have affected hospitalization such as influenza outbreaks and the implementation of the Massachusetts Smoke-Free Workplace Law in July 2004, there was a statistically significant annualized decline in hospital admissions for heart attack of 46% after use of the tobacco cessation medication benefit. That is, the calculated annual rate of admissions for heart attacks was 46% lower after use of the benefit than before among MassHealth beneficiaries. There was also a 49% annualized decline in admissions for coronary atherosclerosis, another smoking-related heart disease. There were no significant changes in hospitalization rates for lung diseases (including asthma, pneumonia, and chronic airway obstruction) or for seven other diagnostic groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, among MassHealth subscribers, the use of a tobacco cessation medication benefit was followed by a significant decrease in claims for hospitalization for heart attack and for coronary atherosclerosis but not for other diseases. It does not, however, show that the reduced claims for hospitalization were associated with a reduction in smoking because smoking cessation was not recorded by MassHealth. Furthermore, it is possible that the people who used the tobacco cessation medication benefit shared other characteristics that reduced their chances of hospitalization for heart disease. For example, people using tobacco cessation medication might have been more likely to adhere to prescription schedules for medications such as statins that would also reduce their risk of heart disease. Finally, these findings might be unique to Massachusetts, so similar studies need to be undertaken in other states. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that, for low-income smokers, removing financial barriers to the use of smoking cessation medications has the potential to produce short-term decreases in the use of hospital services that will, hopefully, outweigh the costs of comprehensive tobacco cessation medication benefits.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000375.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office on Smoking and Health has information on all aspects of smoking and health, including advice on how to quit
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site provides advice about quitting smoking; more advice on quitting is provided by Smokefree
The American Heart Association provides information on heart disease, including advice on how to quit smoking (in several languages)
Information about MassHealth is available, including information on smoking and tobacco use prevention
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000375
PMCID: PMC3000429  PMID: 21170313
14.  Smoking behavior, attitudes, and cessation counseling among healthcare professionals in Armenia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1028.
Background
Smoking cessation counseling by health professionals has been effective in increasing cessation rates. However, little is known about smoking cessation training and practices in transition countries with high smoking prevalence such as Armenia. This study identified smoking-related attitudes and behavior of physicians and nurses in a 500-bed hospital in Yerevan, Armenia, the largest cancer hospital in the country, and explored barriers to their effective participation in smoking cessation interventions.
Methods
This study used mixed quantitative and qualitative methods. Trained interviewers conducted a survey with physicians and nurses using a 42-item self-administered questionnaire that assessed their smoking-related attitudes and behavior and smoking cessation counseling training. Four focus group discussions with hospital physicians and nurses explored barriers to effective smoking cessation interventions. The focus group sessions were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed.
Results
The survey response rate was 58.5% (93/159) for physicians and 72.2% (122/169) for nurses. Smoking prevalence was almost five times higher in physicians compared to nurses (31.2% vs. 6.6%, p < 0.001). Non-smokers and ex-smokers had more positive attitudes toward the hospital’s smoke-free policy compared to smokers (90.1% and 88.2% vs. 73.0%). About 42.6% of nurses and 26.9% of physicians reported having had formal training on smoking cessation methods. While both groups showed high support for routinely assisting patients to quit smoking, nurses more often than physicians considered health professionals as role models for patients.
Conclusions
This study was the first to explore differences in smoking-related attitudes and behavior among hospital physicians and nurses in Yerevan, Armenia. The study found substantial behavioral and attitudinal differences in these two groups. The study revealed a critical need for integrating cessation counseling training into Armenia’s medical education. As nurses had more positive attitudes toward cessation counseling compared to physicians, and more often reported having cessation training, they are an untapped resource that could be more actively engaged in smoking cessation interventions in healthcare settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1028
PMCID: PMC3533858  PMID: 23176746
Smoking cessation; Smoke-free hospital policy; Survey research; Qualitative research; Healthcare professionals; Physician smoking; Armenia; Transition economies
15.  The Effect of Tobacco Control Measures during a Period of Rising Cardiovascular Disease Risk in India: A Mathematical Model of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001480.
In this paper from Basu and colleagues, a simulation of tobacco control and pharmacological interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease mortality in India predicted that Smokefree laws and increased tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
We simulated tobacco control and pharmacological strategies for preventing cardiovascular deaths in India, the country that is expected to experience more cardiovascular deaths than any other over the next decade.
Methods and Findings
A microsimulation model was developed to quantify the differential effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on myocardial infarction and stroke deaths stratified by age, gender, and urban/rural status for 2013 to 2022. The model incorporated population-representative data from India on multiple risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. We also included data from India on cigarette smoking, bidi smoking, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke. According to the model's results, smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation would likely be the most effective strategy among a menu of tobacco control strategies (including, as well, brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and an advertising ban) for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, while cessation advice would be expected to be the least effective strategy at the population level. In combination, these tobacco control interventions could avert 25% of myocardial infarctions and strokes (95% CI: 17%–34%) if the effects of the interventions are additive. These effects are substantially larger than would be achieved through aspirin, antihypertensive, and statin therapy under most scenarios, because of limited treatment access and adherence; nevertheless, the impacts of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions appear to be markedly synergistic, averting up to one-third of deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke among 20- to 79-y-olds over the next 10 y. Pharmacological therapies could also be considerably more potent with further health system improvements.
Conclusions
Smoke-free laws and substantially increased tobacco taxation appear to be markedly potent population measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India. Despite the rise in co-morbid cardiovascular disease risk factors like hyperlipidemia and hypertension in low- and middle-income countries, tobacco control is likely to remain a highly effective strategy to reduce cardiovascular deaths.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are conditions that affect the heart and/or the circulation. In coronary heart disease, for example, narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Stroke, by contrast, is a CVD in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. CVD has been a major cause of illness and death in high-income countries for many years, but the burden of CVD is now rapidly rising in low- and middle-income countries. Indeed, worldwide, three-quarters of all deaths from heart disease and stroke occur in low- and middle-income countries. Smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity all increase an individual's risk of developing CVD. Prevention strategies and treatments for CVD include lifestyle changes (for example, smoking cessation) and taking drugs that lower blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) or blood cholesterol levels (statins) or thin the blood (aspirin).
Why Was This Study Done?
Because tobacco use is a key risk factor for CVD and for several other noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization has developed an international instrument for tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Parties to the FCTC (currently 176 countries) agree to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes. But will tobacco control measures reduce the burden of CVD effectively in low- and middle-income countries as other risk factors for CVD are becoming more common? In this mathematical modeling study, the researchers investigated this question by simulating the effects of tobacco control measures and pharmacological strategies for preventing CVD on CVD deaths in India. Notably, many of the core FCTC provisions remain poorly implemented or unenforced in India even though it became a party to the convention in 2005. Moreover, experts predict that, over the next decade, this middle-income country will contribute more than any other nation to the global increase in CVD deaths.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a microsimulation model (a computer model that operates at the level of individuals) to quantify the likely effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India between 2013 and 2022. They incorporated population-representative data from India on risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality and on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke into their model. They then simulated the effects of five tobacco control measures—smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans—and increased access to aspirin, antihypertensive drugs, and statins on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke. Smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective strategies for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, according to the model, and the effects of these strategies are likely to be substantially larger than those achieved by drug therapies under current health system conditions. If the effects of smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are additive, the model predicts that these two measures alone could avert about 9 million deaths, that is, a quarter of the expected deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India over the next 10 years, and that a combination of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions could avert up to a third of these deaths.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the implementation of smoke-free laws and the introduction of increased tobacco taxes in India would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future CVD deaths. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by the many assumptions included in the mathematical model and by the quality of the data fed into it. Importantly, however, these finding suggest that, despite the rise in other CVD risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, tobacco control is likely to be a highly effective strategy for the reduction of CVD deaths over the next decade in India and probably in other low- and middle-income countries. Policymakers in these countries should, therefore, work towards fuller and faster implementation of the core FCTC provisions to boost their efforts to reduce deaths from CVD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480.
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks and stroke
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease and on stroke (in English and Spanish
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and stroke
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart diseases, vascular diseases, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) about the dangers of tobacco, about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and about noncommunicable diseases; its Global Noncommunicable Disease Network (NCDnet) aims to help low- and middle- income countries reduce illness and death caused by CVD and other noncommunicable diseases
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, supported by the US National Cancer Institute and other US agencies, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480
PMCID: PMC3706364  PMID: 23874160
16.  Workplace tobacco cessation program in India: A success story 
Context:
This paper describes the follow-up interventions and results of the work place tobacco cessation study.
Aims:
To assess the tobacco quit rates among employees, through self report history, and validate it with rapid urine cotinine test; compare post-intervention KAP regarding tobacco consumption with the pre-intervention responses and assess the tobacco consumption pattern among contract employees and provide assistance to encourage quitting.
Settings and Design:
This is a cohort study implemented in a chemical industry in rural Maharashtra, India.
Materials and Methods:
All employees (104) were interviewed and screened for oral neoplasia. Active intervention in the form of awareness lectures, focus group discussions and if needed, pharmacotherapy was offered. Medical staff from the industrial medical unit and from a local referral hospital was trained. Awareness programs were arranged for the family members and contract employees.
Statistical Analysis Used:
Non-parametric statistical techniques and kappa.
Results:
Forty eight per cent employees consumed tobacco. The tobacco quit rates increased with each follow-up intervention session and reached 40% at the end of one year. There was 96% agreement between self report tobacco history and results of rapid urine cotinine test. The post-intervention KAP showed considerable improvement over the pre-intervention KAP. 56% of contract employees used tobacco and 55% among them had oral pre-cancerous lesions.
Conclusions:
A positive atmosphere towards tobacco quitting and positive peer pressure assisting each other in tobacco cessation was remarkably noted on the entire industrial campus. A comprehensive model workplace tobacco cessation program has been established, which can be replicated elsewhere.
doi:10.4103/0019-5278.58919
PMCID: PMC2862448  PMID: 20442834
Contract employees; focus group discussions; tobacco cessation; urine cotinine; workplace
17.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Web-Based Tobacco Cessation Education Program 
Pediatrics  2013;131(2):e455-e462.
OBJECTIVES:
We report the results of a randomized clinical trial of a 3-hour, web-based, tobacco cessation education program, the Web-Based Respiratory Education About Tobacco and Health (WeBREATHe) program, for practicing pediatric respiratory therapists (RTs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs).
METHODS:
Two hundred fifteen RTs (n = 40), RNs (n = 163), and NPs (n = 12) employed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado at Denver, participated in this study. All study activities were completed online. After consenting, participants were randomly assigned to either the training (intervention) or delayed training (control) condition. The training condition consisted of a 3-hour continuing education unit course plus ongoing online resources. Participants were assessed at baseline, 1 week, and 3 months after enrollment.
RESULTS:
Participants in the training condition were more likely to increase their tobacco cessation intervention behaviors than their delayed training counterparts (F[1, 213] = 32.03, P < .001). Training participants showed significantly greater levels of advise (F[1, 213] = 7.22, P < .001); assess (F[1, 213] = 19.56, P < .001); and particularly assist/arrange (F[1213] = 35.52, P < .001). In addition, training condition participants rated the program highly on measures of consumer satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS:
The WeBREATHe program is the first evidence-based education program in tobacco cessation designed specifically for pediatric RTs, RNs, and NPs. Engagement in WeBREATHe increased participants’ tobacco cessation-related behaviors.
doi:10.1542/peds.2012-0611
PMCID: PMC3557402  PMID: 23319529
tobacco; smoking; cessation; continuing education; respiratory therapy; nursing
18.  Factors influencing tobacco use treatment patterns among Vietnamese health care providers working in community health centers 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:68.
Background
Almost half of adult men in Viet Nam are current smokers, a smoking prevalence that is the second highest among South East Asian countries (SEAC). Although Viet Nam has a strong public health delivery system, according to the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey, services to treat tobacco dependence are not readily available to smokers. The purpose of this study was to characterize current tobacco use treatment patterns among Vietnamese health care providers and factors influencing adherence to guideline recommended tobacco use screening and cessation interventions.
Methods
A cross sectional survey of 134 health care providers including physicians, nurses, midwives, physician assistants and pharmacists working in 23 community health centers in Viet Nam.
Results
23% of providers reported screening patients for tobacco use, 33% offered advice to quit and less than 10% offered assistance to half or more of their patients in the past three months. Older age, attitudes, self-efficacy and normative beliefs were associated with screening for tobacco use. Normative beliefs were associated with offering advice to quit. However in the logistic regression analysis only normative beliefs remained significant for both screening and offering advice to quit. Over 90% of providers reported having never received training related to tobacco use treatment. Major barriers to treating tobacco use included lack of training, lack of referral resources and staff to support counseling, and lack of patient interest.
Conclusions
Despite ratifying the FCTC, Viet Nam has not made progress in implementing policies and systems to ensure that smokers are receiving evidence-based treatment. This study suggests a need to change organizational norms through changes in national policies, training and local system-level changes that facilitate treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-68
PMCID: PMC3902028  PMID: 24450865
Cessation; Tobacco; Clinical practice guidelines; Adherence guidelines; Viet Nam
19.  Health professional's perceptions of and potential barriers to smoking cessation care: a survey study at a dental school hospital in Japan 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:329.
Background
Smoking is currently accepted as a well-established risk factor for many oral diseases such as oral cancer and periodontal disease. Provision of smoking cessation care to patients with oral problems is a responsibility of health care professionals, particularly dentists and dental hygienists. This study examined the smoking-related perceptions and practices of dental school hospital-based health professionals in Japan.
Findings
A cross-sectional study design was used. The sample was formed from dentists, dental hygienists, physicians and nurses of a dental school hospital in Tokyo, Japan (n = 93, 72%). Participants were asked to complete an 11-item questionnaire assessing demographic variables and smoking history, provision of smoking cessation advice or care, attitudes about smoking cessation, and perceived barrier(s) to smoking cessation care. Eighteen percent of participants reported being current smokers and 15% reported being ex-smokers, with higher smoking rates reported by dentists compared with other health professionals (p = 0.0199). While recognizing the importance of asking patients about their smoking status, actual provision of smoking cessation advice or care by participants was relatively insufficient. Interventions such as 'assess willingness to make a quit attempt' and 'assist in quit attempt' were implemented for less than one-quarter of their patients who smoke. Non-smokers were more likely to acknowledge the need for increased provision in smoking cessation care by oral health professionals. 'Lack of knowledge and training' was identified as a central barrier to smoking cessation care, followed by 'few patients willing to quit'.
Conclusions
A need for further promotion of smoking cessation activities by the health professionals was identified. The findings also suggest that dentists and dental hygienists, while perceiving a role in smoking care, do require training in the provision of smoking cessation care to hospital patients. In order to overcome the potential barriers, it is necessary to provide staff with appropriate training and create an atmosphere supportive of smoking cessation activities.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-329
PMCID: PMC3016266  PMID: 21138553
20.  Dissemination of the nurse-administered Tobacco Tactics intervention versus usual care in six Trinity community hospitals: study protocol for a comparative effectiveness trial 
Trials  2012;13:125.
Background
The objectives of this smoking cessation study among hospitalized smokers are to: 1) determine provider and patient receptivity, barriers, and facilitators to implementing the nurse-administered, inpatient Tobacco Tactics intervention versus usual care using face-to-face feedback and surveys; 2) compare the effectiveness of the nurse-administered, inpatient Tobacco Tactics intervention versus usual care across hospitals, units, and patient characteristics using thirty-day point prevalence abstinence at thirty days and six months (primary outcome) post-recruitment; and 3) determine the cost-effectiveness of the nurse-administered, inpatient Tobacco Tactics intervention relative to usual care including cost per quitter, cost per life-year saved, and cost per quality-adjusted life-year saved.
Methods/Design
This effectiveness study will be a quasi-experimental design of six Michigan community hospitals of which three will get the nurse-administered Tobacco Tactics intervention and three will provide their usual care. In both the intervention and usual care sites, research assistants will collect data from patients on their smoking habits and related variables while in the hospital and at thirty days and six months post-recruitment. The intervention will be integrated into the experimental sites by a research nurse who will train Master Trainers at each intervention site. The Master Trainers, in turn, will teach the intervention to all staff nurses. Research nurses will also conduct formative evaluation with nurses to identify barriers and facilitators to dissemination.
Descriptive statistics will be used to summarize the results of surveys administered to nurses, nurses’ participation rates, smokers’ receipt of specific cessation services, and satisfaction with services. General estimating equation analyses will be used to determine differences between intervention groups on satisfaction and quit rates, respectively, with adjustment for the clustering of patients within hospital units. Regression analyses will test the moderation of the effects of the interventions by patient characteristics. Cost-effectiveness will be assessed by constructing three ratios including cost per quitter, cost per life-year saved, and cost per quality-adjusted life-year saved.
Discussion
Given that nurses represent the largest group of front-line providers, this intervention, if proven effective, has the potential for having a wide reach and thus decrease smoking, morbidity and mortality among inpatient smokers.
Trial registration
Dissemination of Tobacco Tactics for Hospitalized Smokers NCT01309217
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-125
PMCID: PMC3533810  PMID: 22852834
Smoking; Cessation; Inpatient
21.  Training Physicians to Do Office-based Smoking Cessation Increases Adherence to PHS Guidelines 
Journal of community health  2011;36(2):238-243.
Cigarette Smoking is the leading cause of preventable mortality and morbidity in the United States. Healthcare providers can contribute significantly to the war against tobacco use; patients advised to quit smoking by their physicians are 1.6 times more likely to quit than patients not receiving physician advice. However, most smokers do not receive this advice when visiting their physicians. The Morehouse School of Medicine Tobacco Control Research Program was undertaken to develop best practices for implementing the “2000 Public Health Services Clinical Practice Guidelines on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence” and the “Pathways to Freedom” tobacco cessation program among African American physicians in private practice and healthcare providers at community health centers. Ten focus groups were conducted; 82 healthcare professionals participated. Six major themes were identified as barriers to the provision of smoking cessation services. An intervention was developed based on these results and tested among Georgia community-based physicians. A total of 308 charts were abstracted both pre- and post-intervention. Charts were scored using a system awarding one point for each of the five “A’s” recommended by the PHS guidelines (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) employed during the patient visit. The mean pre-intervention five “A’s” score was 1.29 compared to 1.90 post-intervention (P < 0.001). All charts had evidence of the first “A” (“asked”) both pre- and post-intervention, and the other four “A’s” all had statistically significant increases pre-to post-intervention.
Conclusions
The results demonstrate that, with training of physicians, compliance with the PHS tobacco guidelines can be greatly improved.
doi:10.1007/s10900-010-9303-0
PMCID: PMC3668440  PMID: 20697785
Five “A’s”; Smoker; Smoking cessation; Training physicians; Tobacco
22.  Effect of a Community-Based Nursing Intervention on Mortality in Chronically Ill Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001265.
Kenneth Coburn and colleagues report findings from a randomized trial evaluating the effects of a complex nursing intervention on mortality risk among older individuals diagnosed with chronic health conditions.
Background
Improving the health of chronically ill older adults is a major challenge facing modern health care systems. A community-based nursing intervention developed by Health Quality Partners (HQP) was one of 15 different models of care coordination tested in randomized controlled trials within the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD), a national US study. Evaluation of the HQP program began in 2002. The study reported here was designed to evaluate the survival impact of the HQP program versus usual care up to five years post-enrollment.
Methods and Findings
HQP enrolled 1,736 adults aged 65 and over, with one or more eligible chronic conditions (coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia) during the first six years of the study. The intervention group (n = 873) was offered a comprehensive, integrated, and tightly managed system of care coordination, disease management, and preventive services provided by community-based nurse care managers working collaboratively with primary care providers. The control group (n = 863) received usual care. Overall, a 25% lower relative risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.75 [95% CI 0.57–1.00], p = 0.047) was observed among intervention participants with 86 (9.9%) deaths in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) deaths in the control group during a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. When covariates for sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use were included, the adjusted HR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.55–0.98, p = 0.033). Subgroup analyses did not demonstrate statistically significant interaction effects for any subgroup. No suspected program-related adverse events were identified.
Conclusions
The HQP model of community-based nurse care management appeared to reduce all-cause mortality in chronically ill older adults. Limitations of the study are that few low-income and non-white individuals were enrolled and implementation was in a single geographic region of the US. Additional research to confirm these findings and determine the model's scalability and generalizability is warranted.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01071967
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In almost every country in the world, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group because of increased life expectancy. This demographic change has several implications for public health, especially as older age is a risk factor for many chronic diseases—diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing almost two-thirds of all deaths. Therefore in most countries, the challenge of managing increasingly ageing populations who have chronic illnesses demands an urgent response and countries such as the United States are actively researching possible solutions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies suggest that innovations in chronic disease management that are led by nurses may help address the epidemic of chronic diseases by increasing the quality and reducing the cost of care. However, to date, reports of the evaluation of such interventions lack rigor and do not provide evidence of improved long-term health outcomes or reduced health care costs. So in this study, the researchers used the gold standard of research, a randomized controlled trial, to examine the impact of a community-based nurse care management model for older adults with chronic illnesses in the United States as part of a series of studies supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited eligible patients aged 65 years and over with heart failure, coronary heart disease, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia who received traditional Medicare—a fee for service insurance scheme in which beneficiaries can choose to receive their care from any Medicare provider—from participating primary care practices in Pennsylvania. The researchers then categorized patients according to their risk on the basis of several factors including the number of chronic diseases each individual had before randomizing patients to receive usual care or the nurse-led intervention. The intervention included an individualized plan comprising education, symptom monitoring, medication, counseling for adherence, help identifying, arranging, and monitoring community health and social service referrals in addition to group interventions such as weight loss maintenance and exercise classes. The researchers checked whether any participating patients had died by using the online Social Security Death Master File. Then the researchers used a statistical model to calculate the risk of death in both groups.
Of the 1,736 patients the researchers recruited into the trial, 873 were randomized to receive the intervention and 863 were in the control group (usual care). The researchers found that 86 (9.9%) participants in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) participants in the control group died during the study period, representing a 25% lower relative risk of death among the intervention group. However, when the researchers considered other factors, such as sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use in their statistical model, this risk was slightly altered—0.73 risk of death in the intervention group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that that community-based nurse care management is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality among older adults with chronic illnesses who are beneficiaries of the fee for service Medicare scheme in the United States. These findings also support the important role of nurses in improving health outcomes in this group of patients and show the feasibility of implementing this program in collaboration with primary care practices. Future research is needed to test the adaptability, scalability, and generalizability of this model of care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001265.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Arlene Bierman
Information about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is available
The World Health Organization provides statistics on the prevalence of both chronic illness and ageing
Heath Quality Partners provide information about the study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001265
PMCID: PMC3398966  PMID: 22815653
23.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Conclusions
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
24.  A national view of rural health workforce issues in the USA 
Rural and remote health  2010;10(3):1531.
Introduction
Regional or state studies in the USA have documented shortages of rural physicians and other healthcare professionals that can impact on access to health services. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rural hospital chief executive officers (CEOs) in the USA report shortages of health professions and to obtain perceptions about factors influencing recruiting and retention.
Methods
A nationwide US survey was conducted of 1031 rural hospital CEOs identified by regional/state Area Health Education Centers. A three-page survey was sent containing questions about whether or not physician shortages were present in the CEO’s community and asking about physician needs by specialty. The CEOs were also asked to assess whether other health professionals were needed in their town or within a 48 km (30 mile) radius. Analyses from 335 respondents (34.4%) representative of rural hospital CEOs in the USA are presented.
Results
Primary care shortages based on survey responses were very similar to the pattern for all rural areas in the USA (49% vs 52%, respectively). The location of respondents according to ZIP code rurality status was similar to all rural areas in the USA (moderately rural, 29.3% vs 27.6%, respectively), and 69.1 % were located in highly rural ZIP codes (vs 72.4% of highly rural ZIP codes for all USA). Physician shortages were reported by 75.4% of the rural CEOs, and 70.3% indicated shortages of two or more primary care specialties. The most frequently reported shortage was family medicine (FM, 58.3%) followed by general internal medicine (IM, 53.1%). Other reported shortages were: psychiatry (46.6%); general surgery (39.9%); neurology (36.4%); pediatrics (PEDS, 36.2%); cardiology (35%); and obstetrics-gynecology (34.4%). The three most commonly needed allied health professions were registered nurses (73.5%), physical therapists (61.2%) and pharmacists (51 %). The percentage of CEOs reporting shortages of two or more primary care specialties (FM, IM or PEDS) was 70.3% nationally, with no statistically significant regional variation (p = .394), while higher for the New England through Virginia region (83.9%) than for all other regions. The CEOs reported the highest specialty care shortages for psychiatry (46.6%) followed by general surgery (39.9%), neurology (36.4%), cardiology (35.0%) and obstetrics-gynecology (34.4%;). Major specialty shortages varied among regions and only for neurology and cardiology were regional differences statistically significant (p < .05). Marked variation between need for healthcare professionals were reported ranging from approximately 73% for registered nurses (RNs) to 16% for health educators. Reporting of need for RNs in rural areas was nearly 74% nationally and 35% reported a need for nurse practitioners. Differences for both RNs and nurse practitioners were not statistically significant among regions. Nationally, approximately 30% of CEOs reported a shortage of licensed practical nurses, which differed significantly among regions (p = .006). There was variation in physical therapist shortages among regions (p = 001), with 61.2% of CEOs reporting shortages nationally. Regional variation pattern was observed for pharmacists (p = .004) with approximately 50% of rural CEOs reporting a need for pharmacists nationally. The association between CEOs’ reported shortages of two or more primary care doctors and their indication of the need for other health professionals was statistically significant for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and dentists. The recruitment and retention attributes deemed to be of greatest importance were: (1) healthcare is a major part of the local economy; (2) community is a good place for family; (3) doctors are well-respected and supported; and (4) people in the community are friendly and supportive of each other. These were remarkably similar across 6 US geographic regions.
Conclusions
Similarities in shortages and attributes influencing recruitment across regions suggest that major policy and program interventions are needed to develop a rural health professions workforce that will enable the benefits of recent US health reform insurance coverage to be realized. Substantial and targeted programs to increase rural healthcare professionals are needed.
PMCID: PMC3760483  PMID: 20658893
health care; geographic variation; workforce; USA
25.  Smoking, smoking cessation and tobacco control in rural China: a qualitative study in Shandong Province 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):916.
Background
Smoking prevalence is high in China and even higher among rural residents. The aims of this study were: 1) to gain insights into the motivations of tobacco use and barriers to smoking cessation among rural village residents; 2) to understand the current tobacco control measures in the rural villages and barriers encountered or perceived for implementation.
Methods
Qualitative semi-structured face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions were conducted of 59 rural villagers including 37 village residents, 10 village leaders and 12 village doctors in three counties in Shandong Province, China.
Results
Smoking initiation was most often out of curiosity when seeing others smoke, but pressure from cigarette sharing and gifting custom was the major barrier to smoking cessation. The most important reason for quitting successfully was a detrimental health problem. Although many attempted to quit at the advice of other family members, relapses were common and few were able to quit completely and for long-term unless accompanied by significant health issues. Although doctor’s advice to quit is effective, many doctors do not offer advice to all patients. There is a lack of true understanding of the harm of smoking and second-hand smoking among the villagers and a lack of access to and knowledge of effective smoking cessation tools among both smokers and village doctors. Tobacco control activities at villages were rare and infrequent.
Conclusions
This study highlighted the need to develop tobacco control measures that reflect the unique culture in rural China. Smoking cessation measures are not likely to achieve large scale effect unless the prevailing cigarette sharing and gifting custom is drastically changed. More educations of the hazards of smoking and second-hand smoking to village residents and educations of effective smoking cessation treatment to both village residents and healthcare providers are needed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-916
PMCID: PMC4169812  PMID: 25190269
Smoking cessation; Rural residents; China

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