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Review
. 2017 May;81(5):500-516.
doi: 10.21815/JDE.016.016.

Dental Students' Attitudes Toward Tobacco Cessation in the Dental Setting: A Systematic Review

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Review

Dental Students' Attitudes Toward Tobacco Cessation in the Dental Setting: A Systematic Review

Shannon Myers Virtue et al. J Dent Educ. .

Abstract

Many dental schools have integrated tobacco cessation into their predoctoral curricula. However, dental students' perceptions should be taken into consideration when designing those curricula. The aim of this study was to systematically review the published literature on dental students' attitudes and perceptions regarding tobacco cessation. The research team conducted a search for articles through April 2016 using the following electronic databases: Medline, PsychInfo, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL. Each abstract and/or article was reviewed for inclusion. Data were extracted from all included articles. Each was rated for quality appraisal by two reviewers. The initial search identified 2,035 articles, and 38 of those were included in the review. The majority were cross-sectional and sampled students from one dental school. There was wide variation in the measurement of dental student attitudes. Overall, the majority of students in these studies reported believing it is within the scope of dental practice to address tobacco use with patients, but there was variability in terms of the practice of specific tobacco cessation strategies. The most common perceived barrier was patient resistance/lack of motivation. In most of the studies, the majority of students were interested in being trained in tobacco cessation. The findings suggest that dental students will respond positively to receiving tobacco cessation education while in dental school and that educators should include strategies to help future dentists deal with patient resistance. Future studies should focus on the development of a validated measure of dental student attitudes toward tobacco cessation and longitudinal, multi-institutional research that can provide more generalizable findings.

Keywords: dental education; dental students; tobacco; tobacco cessation education; tobacco use cessation.

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