Background: Physician advice is an important motivator for attempting to stop smoking. However, physicians' lack of intervention with smokers has only modestly improved in the last decade. Although the literature includes extensive research in the area of the smoking intervention practices of clinicians, few studies have focused on Hispanic physicians. The purpose of this study was to explore the correlates of tobacco cessation counseling practices among Hispanic physicians in the US.
Methods: Data were collected through a validated survey instrument among a cross-sectional sample of self-reported Hispanic physicians practicing in New Mexico, and who were members of the New Mexico Hispanic Medical Society in the year 2001. Domains of interest included counseling practices, self-efficacy, attitudes/responsibility, and knowledge/skills. Returned surveys were analyzed to obtain frequencies and descriptive statistics for each survey item. Other analyses included: bivariate Pearson's correlation, factorial ANOVAs, and multiple linear regressions.
Results: Respondents (n = 45) reported a low level of compliance with tobacco control guidelines and recommendations. Results indicate that physicians' familiarity with standard cessation protocols has a significant effect on their tobacco-related practices (r = .35, variance shared = 12%). Self-efficacy and gender were both significantly correlated to tobacco related practices (r = .42, variance shared = 17%). A significant correlation was also found between self-efficacy and knowledge/skills (r = .60, variance shared = 36%). Attitudes/responsibility was not significantly correlated with any of the other measures.
Conclusion: More resources should be dedicated to training Hispanic physicians in tobacco intervention. Training may facilitate practice by increasing knowledge, developing skills and, ultimately, enhancing feelings of self-efficacy.