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Abstract

SMOKING PREVALENCE AMONG PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS IN TURKEY AND THEIR KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, AND BEHAVIORS ABOUT SMOKING CESSATION TREATMENT

Ceren Turkcan Cerci, Ergun Oksuz*, Fisun Sozen, Yasemin Cetinel, Ersin Ogus, Altug Kut

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To determine smoking prevalence of family physicians/general practitioners who work in family practice units in Turkey and to evaluate their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about tobacco dependence treatments and methods. Study design: Crosssectional study. Methods: This study consisting of 401 primary care physicians (214 men and 187 women) from a national sample took place between July 2016 and December 2016. Anonymous questionnaires created by the investigators and the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) were used as data resources. Explanatory statistics, the chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test, and tests on the suitability of the variables to the normal distribution were performed in the analyses. Results: Smoking prevalence among family physicians was found to be 30.9% (38.3% in men and 22.5% in women). Overall, 34.9% of the physicians had never smoked, 16.7% had tried a couple of times, 9% sometimes smoked, 21.9% still smoked, and 17.5% had stopped smoking. In addition, 33.9% of the participants took tobacco dependence training. According to the FNDQ scores, 49.1% of the physicians had low dependence levels. It was established that 72.1% of the physicians asked their patients about their smoking status and 1.5% had never asked. It was also established that 80% of the physicians did not ask their patients about the use of tobacco products other than cigarettes. It was found that the smoking status of the physicians did not have a significant effect on their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about tobacco dependence training. It was also found that the receipt of tobacco dependence treatment training by the physicians had a significant effect on their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. It was established that there was no difference between the physicians who received and those who did not receive tobacco dependence training on giving recommendations to stop smoking and providing information about such methods to their patients, but family physicians who had training recommended pharmacological treatments more than those who had not (22.6% vs 47.1%; P = 0.000). Conclusions: The rate of smoking among family physicians in Turkey was higher than the reported rates for the general population, with low dependence levels for physicians. There was a significant deficiency in questioning the use of tobacco products other than cigarettes. Although Turkey has achieved great gains in tobacco control in recent years, high smoking prevalence among physicians who are seen as societal role models suggests that the measures and applications related to tobacco control should be increased.

Keywords: General practitioners; Smoking; Knowledge; Attitudes; Nicotine dependence; Smoking cessation.


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