Sunday, January 25, 2009

Most health care providers don't know how to help patients quit smoking

According to a survey reported in Reuters HealthDay on October 27, 2008, most health care providers don't know much about smoking cessation. Here is a snippet from the article:

Few doctors or other health-care providers have enough smoking cessation training to help their patients quit smoking, a U.S. study suggests.

It found that 87 percent to 93 percent of doctors and other health-care workers receive less than five hours of training on tobacco dependence, and less than 6 percent know the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) treatment guidelines for tobacco dependence, including the signs of nicotine withdrawal. This lack of knowledge about treating tobacco dependence may affect quit rates among smokers, suggested lead researcher Virginia Reichert and colleagues at the North Shore-LIJ Health System Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, N.Y.

Research has shown that one of the predictors of a quit attempt is if a patient perceives his/her health care provider as being interested, willing, and able to help with a smoking cessation plan.

Here at GCASA we are in the process of surveying staff to determine the extent of their interest, willingness, and ability to help our clients quit smoking.

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