Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

GPs Confidence in and Barriers to Implementing Smoking Cessation Activities: Compared to Dentists, Dental Hygienists and Pharmacists

David Edwards, Toby Freeman, John Litt and Ann M Roche

Australian Journal of Primary Health 12(3) 117 - 125
Published: 2006


GP smoking cessation interventions have been found to be highly efficacious. However, reported uptake is low, and little is known about barriers or comparisons with other health professionals. The objectives of this study were to examine GPs' provision of smoking cessation activities, confidence and perceived barriers, and compare the results to other health professions (dentists, dental hygienists and pharmacists). A random sample of South Australian GPs (n = 269) were surveyed. Comparisons were made with dentists, dental hygienists and pharmacists for whom similar data had been obtained. Participants were surveyed on their confidence, perceived barriers, level of smoking cessation activity and practice and demographic factors. GPs reported greater provision of and greater confidence in a range of brief smoking cessation interventions than other professions and perceived fewer barriers to the provision of smoking cessation activities. Confidence and system barriers were reported as the most common factors that impeded greater provision of smoking cessation activities. It was concluded that confidence and system barriers need to be addressed to increase rates of smoking cessation interventions provided by these professional groups. Skills-based training that develops confidence would be beneficial for all health professional groups and would increase the number of smokers receiving advice and assistance to quit smoking.

© La Trobe University 2006

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