Tobacco cessation interventions in dental networks: a practice-based evaluation of the impact of education on provider knowledge, referrals, and pharmacotherapy use
- View All
Tobacco is a significant risk factor for oral diseases. Dental care providers have the opportunity to inform patients about the risks associated with tobacco use and refer them to tobacco cessation resources. Although dental teams usually ask their patients about their tobacco use, most do not provide tobacco cessation counseling. This project involved four staff-model dental clinics and four contracted network dental clinics. Project goals were to 1) describe current practice patterns of tobacco cessation intervention, 2) increase the use of steps for treatment, known as the 5 As, recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service, 3) increase referrals to a tobacco helpline, and 4) increase use of pharmacotherapy for tobacco dependence treatment. The project included training and program support (e.g., sharing of project data, weekly newsletters, discussion at clinic meetings). Results indicate that this approach to addressing tobacco dependence in a dental clinic setting can effectively change dental provider knowledge and action.