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Dental Students’ Awareness, Preparedness and Barriers towards Managing Tobacco-Using Patients—A Cross-Sectional Study

Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101862
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
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Abstract

Aims: To evaluate Hong Kong dental students’ perceived awareness, preparedness and barriers towards managing tobacco-using patients. Methods: A validated questionnaire was administered to dental students who were in their clinical years (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth year of study) in 2017 at the University of Hong Kong. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: (1) awareness towards practicing tobacco cessation counselling (TCC), (2) preparedness in terms of confidence, knowledge and clinical practices when managing tobacco-using patients, and (3) perceived barriers to counselling. Results: All 206 invited students had participated this study. Most (93%) agreed that dentists should deliver TCC. However, only around a quarter (26%) of students were well-prepared to help patients in tobacco cessation. While 60% of students agreed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was helpful for patients to quit tobacco use, only 28% understood its mechanism of action, and merely 16% were knowledgeable enough to introduce NRT to their patients. Two-thirds (62%) of students felt they did not have sufficient skills at this stage of their training. Conclusions: Most Hong Kong dental students had good awareness that dental professionals had an important role to promote tobacco cessation in their patient pools. However, not many of them were well-prepared to manage tobacco-using patients. Common barriers were found to be patients’ apathy and students’ inadequate familiarity with NRT. View Full-Text
Keywords: smoking; public health; dental education; nicotine replacement therapy; tobacco cessation counselling smoking; public health; dental education; nicotine replacement therapy; tobacco cessation counselling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, D.C.Y.; Ho, T.C.Y.; Duangthip, D.; Gao, S.S.; Lo, E.C.M.; Chu, C.H. Dental Students’ Awareness, Preparedness and Barriers towards Managing Tobacco-Using Patients—A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1862.

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