Background: Sixty-seven percent of physicians report advising their smoking patients to quit. Primary care residents' priorities for preventive health for a young "high-risk" female are unknown. Factors related to residents addressing smoking also need examining.
Methods: One hundred residents completed a survey about preventive health issues for a woman in her 20s "who leads a high-risk lifestyle." Residents indicated which topics they would address, and the likelihood that they would address each of 12 relevant preventive health topics, their outcome expectancies that the patient would follow their advice on each topic, their confidence that they could address the topic, and perceived barriers for addressing the topic.
Results: Residents listed STD prevention most frequently. Drug use and smoking cessation were second and third most frequently listed. Residents who believed that the patient would follow their advice were more likely to list smoking cessation than residents who had lower outcome expectancies for that patient. Higher barriers were negatively related to addressing smoking cessation.
Conclusions: When time is not a barrier, residents are likely to address smoking cessation. Teaching residents how to incorporate this subject into their clinical practice is needed. Raising residents' outcome expectancies may increase their likelihood of addressing smoking cessation.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.