Tobacco Intervention Practices of Primary Care Physicians Treating Lower Socioeconomic Status Patients

Christine E. Sheffer, S. Laney Brackman, Michael Anders, Claudia Barone, Michael B. Steinberg
2012 American Journal of the Medical Sciences  
Tobacco use greatly contributes to overall socioeconomic health disparities and physicians are a major source of information about effective methods for tobacco cessation. This study examined the tobacco intervention practices of primary care physicians in Arkansas who treat a high proportion of lower SES patients. Greater than 70% of respondents' patients were covered by Medicaid and/or Medicare or paid for primary care services without health insurance. Although physicians were highly
more » ... d and considered cessation to be very important, 74% had no training of any kind in the treatment of tobacco dependence and familiarity with the free treatment services in Arkansas was low. Younger and non-white physicians and physicians with any type of training in treating tobacco dependence reported more positive attitudes, more frequent intervention behaviors, and more familiarity with treatment services. More frequently seeing the effects of tobacco use on the health of patients as well as increased knowledge, preparedness, and perceived effectiveness of treatments was related to a higher frequency of providing cessation assistance. More frequently seeing the effects of tobacco use on patients, as well as increased familiarity with treatment services was related to a higher frequency of referring patients to treatment services. These findings suggest that training experiences that increase physician awareness of the multiplicity of consequences of tobacco use as well as increase knowledge, preparedness, perceived effectiveness of treatments, and familiarity with treatment services will increase the frequency with which physicians assist and refer this important patient population.
doi:10.1097/maj.0b013e3182302749 pmid:22008779 pmcid:PMC3263323 fatcat:3eedwslfw5hjpphc5vxy6qye6i