Physicians counseling smokers: A population-based survey of patients' perceptions of health care provider-delivered smoking cessation interventions

Michael G. Goldstein, Raymond Niaura, Cynthia Willey-Lessne, Judy DePue, Cheryl Eaton, William Rakowski, Catherine Dubé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To examine associations between sociodemographic and psychological characteristics of smokers and delivery of 5 types of smoking cessation counseling interventions by physicians and office staff. Methods: We used a telephone survey of a population-based sample of adult cigarette smokers (N=3037) who saw a physician in the last year. Primary outcomes included patients' report of whether a physician or other health care provider (1) talked about smoking, (2) advised them to quit, (3) offered help to quit, (4) arranged a follow-up contact, and (5) prescribed nicotine gum or other medication. Results: Fifty-one percent of smokers were talked to about their smoking; 45.5% were advised to quit; 14.9% were offered help; 3% had a follow-up appointment arranged; and 8.5% were prescribed medication. In multivariate analyses, the most consistent predictors of receipt of almost all counseling behaviors were medical setting (private physician's office only > care in other settings), health status (fair or poor > good, very good, or excellent), more years of education, greater number of cigarettes smoked per day, stage of readiness to quit smoking (preparation > precontemplation), and greater reported benefits of smoking. Conclusions: Physicians and other health care providers are not meeting the standards of smoking intervention outlined by the National Cancer Institute and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Health care providers who intervene only with those patients who are ready to quit smoking are missing opportunities to provide effective smoking interventions to the majority of their patients. Interventions are also less likely to be provided to healthier and lighter smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1319
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Volume157
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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