Purpose: The purpose of this study was to obtain pilot information concerning the attitudes of pediatric dentists regarding their role in tobacco intervention for children and adolescent patients.
Methods: A 1-page survey, which was adapted and pretested from a previous, comprehensive survey, was distributed to all registrants at the 2001 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Descriptive and exploratory multivariable techniques were used to analyze the data.
Results: Of the 173 respondents, only 18% had ever received training in tobacco cessation counseling. Although most dentists agreed that they should play a role in tobacco intervention with their young patients, the majority was not comfortable with this task. Pediatric dentists with tobacco counseling training were more likely to accept their role in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts and were more confident in their ability to do so than were their counterparts. Pediatric dentists consider tobacco cessation an important role in their practices, but do not consider themselves well prepared to act on this responsibility.
Conclusions: The results of this pilot survey strongly suggest that a similar, national, comprehensive study should be conducted among pediatric dentists.