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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155-165

Impact of Educational Outreach Visits on Smoking Cessation Activities Performed by Specialist Physicians: A Randomized Trial


Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Jean-Francois Etter
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Geneva, CMU, 1 rue Michel-Servet, CH-1211, Geneva 4
Switzerland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Objectives: To find out whether educational visits by a nurse to specialist physicians improved their self-reporting of smoking cessation activities; whether these visits increased the percentage of physicians who were aware of and recommended a computer-tailored smoking cessation program and who participated in a training workshop on tobacco dependency treatment. Methods: Specialist private practice physicians (n¼523) working in Geneva, Switzerland were randomly assigned to either receiving (n¼261) or not receiving (n¼262) a single 40-minute visit by a trained nurse in 2003. The physicians answered a postal questionnaire 5 months after the visits indicating the percentage of their patients they counselled or treated for tobacco dependency and we recorded whether physicians took part in the workshop. Findings: Only half (53%) of the physicians agreed to receive a visit. At follow-up more physicians in the intervention group than in the control group were aware of the computer-tailored program (73% vs. 39%, p50.001) and more physicians in the intervention group said they recommended the use of this program to more patients (20% vs. 10%, p¼0.009). Among non-smoking physicians only, the proportion of patients who were advised to quit smoking was higher in the intervention than in the control group (69% vs. 54%, p¼0.019, as reported by physicians). The intervention had no impact on physicians' participation in the workshop. Conclusions: Visits by a nurse increased the proportion of physicians who recommended to their patients the use of a computer-tailored smoking cessation program. Among nonsmoking physicians only, the intervention increased the proportion of patients who received the advice to quit smoking, as reported by physicians.


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