Perceptions regarding tobacco cessation counselling among dental students and graduates: A cross-sectional study

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Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention


Background: Tobacco usage is a global concern and it is essential to curb its usage and increase awareness among patients. Dental professionals' contribution in tobacco cessation will definitely make a stark difference. Thus it is important to assess dental students' and graduates' knowledge, attitude and practice towards Tobacco cessation counselling (TCC). Materials and Methods: The descriptive, cross-sectional survey was carried out among 286 students of a dental college in South India. A well-structured, pretested, self-administered questionnaire consisting of 17 close-ended questions was employed to assess knowledge, attitude and practice towards TCC. Results: Almost all study participants agreed that tobacco cessation counselling is under the scope of dental practice and admitted that it is the responsibility of dental professionals to educate patients for the same. Majority of graduates responded that they have done tobacco cessation counselling whereas less than two-third of undergraduates have done the same and difference between two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.001). A significantly higher number of graduates (79%) were aware of 5A's and 5R's protocol for TCC as compared to undergraduates (50%). But less than one-fifth of study population have actually applied this protocol for TCC in clinical practice. Conclusion: There is a need to modify the dental curriculum and motivate young graduates and students about TCC. This will develop a more professional competence and helps to encourage the dental professionals in developing a preventive mind set about tobacco use. Thus, it will help in enhancing the long-term rates of quitting tobacco among patients, which will prove beneficial in controlling tobacco related diseases in near future.

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