Addressing tobacco in managed care: a survey of dentists' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors

Am J Public Health. 2002 Jun;92(6):997-1001. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.6.997.


Objectives: This study assessed the tobacco cessation knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of dentists participating in a large managed care dental plan.

Methods: Participating dentists in 4 states were surveyed via mail.

Results: Dentists' perceived success in helping patients quit using tobacco was highly correlated with discussion of specific strategies for quitting, advice about the use of nicotine gum, and time spent counseling patients. Dentists who were confident about their smoking cessation knowledge frequently advised patients to quit and spent more time counseling patients about tobacco cessation.

Conclusions: Tobacco cessation is not a routine part of dental practice. Knowledge, time spent counseling patients, and specific strategies for quitting were associated with dentists' perceptions of success.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Connecticut
  • Counseling
  • Dentists / psychology*
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Dental
  • Managed Care Programs
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pennsylvania
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'* / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*