Counselling as a tool for tobacco cessation in a dental institution: Insights from India

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Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention


Background: Tobacco related mortality and morbidity is a growing public health problem world over. Counselling has emerged as an important arsenal in the battle against tobacco. Involving experts other than traditional medical health workers may be critical. Aim of the present study was to explore various aspects related to Tobacco cessation counselling among Indian dental students. Methods: Overall, 241 undergraduate students from Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore participated in the present investigation. A structured, pretested, self-administered questionnaire was used to ascertain knowledge, attitude, behavior, perceived effectiveness and barriers and socio-demographic details. Willingness to counsel patients and undergo further training counselling was also assessed. Results: Mean knowledge, attitude, behavior, perceived effectiveness and barrier scores were 2.94 (±2.08), 51.84 (±5.63), 19.25 (±8.79), 16.17 (±1.96) and 42.39 (±5.65) respectively. Age was significantly correlated with knowledge; while year of study revealed significant correlations with knowledge and behavior (p < 0.05). Lack of motivation, poor attitude of patients; lack of knowledge and skills emerged as barriers. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that year of study, attitude, behavior and barrier scores were significant predictors for respondents ever counselled their patients (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Knowledge and behavior scores of the respondents towards Tobacco cessation counselling were low, but a majority of the subjects were willing to counsel and undergo training. Year of study, attitude, behavior and barrier scores emerged as significant predictors of counselling for Tobacco use. The present study has important policy implications and highlights curriculum changes in making Tobacco cessation counselling more relevant and effective among Indian dental students.

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