Self-reported smoking cessation activities among Swiss primary care physicians

BMC Fam Pract. 2009 Mar 25;10:22. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-10-22.


Background: Individual counselling, pharmacotherapy, and group therapy are evidence-based interventions that help patients stop smoking. Acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation have no demonstrated efficacy on smoking cessation, whereas self-help material may only have a small benefit. The purpose of this study is to assess physicians' current clinical practice regarding smokers motivated to stop smoking.

Methods: The survey included 3385 Swiss primary care physicians. Self-reported use of nine smoking cessation interventions was scored. One point was given for each positive answer about practicing interventions with demonstrated efficacy, i.e. nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, counselling, group therapy, and smoking cessation specialist. No points were given for the recommendation of acupuncture, hypnosis, relaxation, and self-help material. Multivariable logistic analysis was performed to identify factors associated with a good practice score, defined as >or= 2.

Results: The response rate was 55%. Respondents were predominately over the age of 40 years (88%), male (79%), and resided in urban areas (74%). Seventeen percent reported being smokers. Most of the physicians prescribed nicotine replacement therapy (84%), bupropion (65%), or provided counselling (70%). A minority of physicians recommended acupuncture (26%), hypnosis (8%), relaxation (7%), or self-help material (24%). A good practice score was obtained by 85% of respondents. Having attended a smoking cessation-training program was the only significant predictor of a good practice score (odds ratio: 6.24, 95% CI 1.95-20.04).

Conclusion: The majority of respondents practice recommended smoking cessation interventions. However, there is room for improvement and implementing an evidence-based smoking cessation-training program could provide additional benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Switzerland