Patient satisfaction and discussion of smoking cessation during clinical visits
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OBJECTIVE: To learn whether patients who smoke and who receive smoking cessation information during medical office visits were less likely to be satisfied with the smoking cessation help they received than patients who smoke but who did not receive such information. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 3703 current cigarette smokers were identified by a mailing in November 1998 to 163,596 members of 2 Minnesota health plans, and 2714 (77.3%) responses to a 44-item questionnaire were available for analysis. Using hierarchical analysis to control confounding variables, we assessed the relationship between patient-reported smoking cessation support actions at the last physician visit and satisfaction "with the help received from your doctor about quitting smoking." RESULTS: Smokers were very satisfied (12.0%), satisfied (25.3%), neutral (48.6%), and dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (13.5%) with physician help. After controlling for other characteristics, the 1898 patients who reported that they had been asked about tobacco use or advised to quit during the latest visit had 10 percentage point greater satisfaction ratings and 5 percentage point less dissatisfaction than those not reporting such discussions (P<.001). Smokers reporting no interest in quitting at the time of the latest visit also demonstrated greater satisfaction in association with these actions. CONCLUSION: Smoking cessation interventions during physician visits were associated with increased patient satisfaction with their care among those who smoke. This information should reduce concerns of physicians or nurses about providing tobacco cessation assistance to patients during office visits.
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