Background: The influence of residency training on use of smoking cessation intervention (SCI) in future practice is unexamined.
Methods: We surveyed 291 physicians who participated in SCI research during residency between 1986 and 1996. Half received SCI training; half did not. Best practice included: (1) identifying smokers; (2) advising cessation; (3) assisting with a plan; (4) arranging follow-up.
Results: Forty-two percent of respondents were using best practices. Training per se was not associated with current use of best practices (relative risk = 1.04; adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 0.91). However, those who reported use of best practices in residency were twice as likely to currently use best practices [ARR = 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3, 2.9]. Resources associated with use of best practices included patient education materials (ARR = 1.8; CI 1.1, 2.7), staff familiar with SCI (ARR = 1.8; CI 1.2, 2.6), and opportunity for referral to cessation counselors/programs (ARR = 1.3; CI 1.0, 1.9). Resources related in a dose-response fashion to best practices: 24% of those without resources provide best SCI, 32% with any one resource, 51% with any two, and 74% with all three.
Conclusions: To expand use of best SCI, residencies must ensure physicians use SCI skills, and health care systems must provide resources to facilitate intervention.