University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 8

Abstract 1980-1989

Secker-Walker RH, Hill HC, Solomon LJ, Flynn BS. Smoking cessation practices in dental offices. J Public Health Dent. 1987 Winter;47(1):10-5.

We have surveyed the health promotion efforts of dentists and dental hygienists in general dental practice in Chittenden County, Vermont, in relation to smoking. The response rate was 61 percent. Smoking issues were addressed by 76 percent of dentists and 81 percent of dental hygienists in approximately one quarter of their smoking patients. Although the majority of both dentists and dental hygienists advised their patients to change their smoking behavior, their advice was usually to cut down rather than to quit. Most of the respondents--78 percent of dentists and 93 percent of dental hygienists--considered it appropriate to give advice about smoking during visits for routine dental care and 68 percent and 89 percent, respectively, were willing to learn brief methods of advising their patients about smoking. Experience with giving advice about smoking and agreement that it was appropriate to give such advice were both strongly related to willingness to learn brief methods of giving such advice. In individual dental practices, there were virtually no correlations between the dentist's and the dental hygienist's behaviors as far as the proportion of patients from whom a smoking history was taken, the proportion of smokers advised about smoking, the content of the advice, or the nature of the advice. Only nine percent of dentists and 11 percent of dental hygienists were current smokers.

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