Barriers and incentives for Italian paediatricians to become smoking cessation promoters: a GARD-Italy Demonstration Project

J Thorac Dis. 2020 Nov;12(11):6868-6879. doi: 10.21037/jtd-gard-20-003.


Background: Paediatricians rarely devote any time to screening and treatment for parental tobacco use. The present project is part of a Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)-Italy Demonstration Project, aimed to increase the skills of primary care physicians and paediatricians as "promoter of smoking cessation". The aims of this study were: (I) to identify latent classes of barriers and incentives for smoking cessation counseling among paediatricians using latent class analysis (LCA); (II) to investigate risk factors for inclusion into the identified classes.

Methods: In 2018, 1,500 Italian paediatricians were invited to complete an online survey on passive smoke exposure in children. LCA was used to discover underlying response patterns, and to identify respondent groups with similar attitudes toward passive smoke exposure in children. Multinomial logistic regression helped investigate which explanatory variables influenced inclusion into a class. A P value <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: The overall response rate was 71% (n=1,071/1,500). Three classes were identified: Class 1 "passive" (n=226, 21.10%); Class 2 "unmotivated" (n=124, 11.58%); and Class 3 "proactive" (n=721, 67.32%). Assuming Class 3 as reference, ever having been a smoker was borderline associated (P=0.052) with increased probability of inclusion into Class 1 (OR =1.43, 95% CI, 1.00-2.06). Having 6-15 or ≥15 years of work experience versus having less than five years was associated with decreased probability of being in the "passive" class (OR =0.46, 95% CI, 0.22-0.96 and OR =0.49, 95% CI, 0.27-0.87, respectively), as was discussing parents' addiction to alcohol/drugs (OR =0.50, 95% CI, 0.33-0.76).

Conclusions: We identified three profiles among Italian paediatricians related to barriers and incentives for smoking cessation promotion. Tailored educational interventions for paediatricians are required to promote smoking cessation programs.

Keywords: Latent class analysis (LCA); barriers; incentives; paediatricians; smoking cessation.