A Randomized Trial of Physician Training for Smoking Cessation
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Abstract This randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of a smoking cessation workshop on physician practices and on patients' smoking behavior. Eighty-three community family physicians were randomly allocated by practice to either 1) a Usual Care condition, 2) a group in which physicians were not trained but were asked to address smoking cessation with specific patients, or 3) a condition which included physician training as well as printed resources and in which specific patients were identified as smokers. The intervention taught to the physicians through a four hour training workshop included providing advice about stopping smoking, the setting of a date for stopping, the offer of nicotine gum, take-home materials, and the offer of follow-up visits. The intervention was described, demonstrated, and the physicians practiced with simulated patients. The outcome of the intervention was assessed in terms of physician behavior and patient smoking behavior. Exit interviews with patients demonstrated that patients of trained physicians did not differ from patients of untrained physicians on how willing they were to try to stop smoking nor on their receptiveness to nicotine gum. However, there was a small but statistically significant difference favoring the patients from the trained physician group who successfully stopped smoking.
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