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Knowledge, attitude, and practice among primary health-care physicians toward smoking cessation in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Ahmad Hasan M. Al-Turkstani, Bahaa Aba Alkail, Amal A Hegazy, Sari Ibrahim Asiri.

Background: Tobacco smoking is one of the main preventable reasons for death on the planet and is a noteworthy general well-being issue in both developed and developing nations. The primary health-care (PHC) doctors speak to an imperative resource in the battle against smoking.

Objective: To detect the prevalence of smoking, smoking-cessation knowledge, and attitude among physicians in PHC centers in Makkah and evaluate the smoking-cessation counseling practices of these physicians.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at 80 PHC centers in Makkah over a period of 2 months. Data were collected by a validated self-administered questionnaire “Global Health Professional Survey” that was adopted from the WHO.

Result: The study included 262 PHC physicians. The prevalence of daily current smoking was (18.7%), while male and female prevalences were 26.7% and 1.2%, respectively. Only (7.3%) were occasional smokers. Majority of ever-smoked physicians reported thinking of quitting smoking. Incorrect knowledge was reported among 25.6% of physicians. Logistic regression revealed that physicians of experience ranged between 2 and 10 years were less likely to express incorrect smoking-related knowledge compared with those with an experience of 1 year or less. Current smokers have approximately four-fold risk for incorrect smoking-related knowledge compared with nonsmokers [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 4.04; 95% CI: 2.21–7.36]. Negative attitude was reported among 26.2% of physicians. Logistic regression revealed that physicians aged between 36 and 45 years showed a significant negative attitude toward smoking compared with those in the age group 25–35 years (AOR = 5.83; 95% CI: 2.88–11.79). Bad practice regarding smoking cessation was reported among 52.7% of the physicians. Logistic regression revealed that physicians with longer experience of working in PHC centers were significantly less likely to show bad practice regarding smoking cessation compared with those with an experience of 1 year or less. When compared with residents, senior registrars were less likely to exhibit bad practice regarding smoking cessation (AOR = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.05–0.69).

Conclusion: The prevalence of smoking among PHC physicians in Makkah was relatively high. Current smokers either occasionally or daily are more likely to show incorrect smoking-related knowledge compared with nonsmokers. Most of PHC physicians showed positive attitudes toward smoking cessation activities, with no significant difference between current smokers and nonsmokers. Almost a 25% of primary health-care physicians did not receive sufficient training in smoking cessation activities.

Key words: Primary health-care physicians, smoking, smoking cessation

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