Counselling as a Tool for Tobacco Cessation in a Dental Institution: Insights from India

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 1Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka, India.

2 Professor and Head, Department of MSc. Counselling, School of Social Work, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India.

4 Professor and Dean, Department of Periodontology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India.

5 Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

Background: Tobacco related mortality and morbidity is a growing public health problem world over. Counselling
has emerged as an important arsenal in the battle against tobacco. Involving experts other than traditional medical
health workers may be critical. Aim of the present study was to explore various aspects related to Tobacco cessation
counselling among Indian dental students. Methods: Overall, 241 undergraduate students from Manipal College of Dental
Sciences, Mangalore participated in the present investigation. A structured, pretested, self-administered questionnaire
was used to ascertain knowledge, attitude, behavior, perceived effectiveness and barriers and socio-demographic
details. Willingness to counsel patients and undergo further training counselling was also assessed. Results: Mean
knowledge, attitude, behavior, perceived effectiveness and barrier scores were 2.94 (±2.08), 51.84 (±5.63), 19.25
(±8.79), 16.17 (±1.96) and 42.39 (±5.65) respectively. Age was significantly correlated with knowledge; while year
of study revealed significant correlations with knowledge and behavior (p<0.05). Lack of motivation, poor attitude of
patients; lack of knowledge and skills emerged as barriers. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that year of
study, attitude, behavior and barrier scores were significant predictors for respondents ever counselled their patients
(p<0.05). Conclusions: Knowledge and behavior scores of the respondents towards Tobacco cessation counselling
were low, but a majority of the subjects were willing to counsel and undergo training. Year of study, attitude, behavior
and barrier scores emerged as significant predictors of counselling for Tobacco use. The present study has important
policy implications and highlights curriculum changes in making Tobacco cessation counselling more relevant and
effective among Indian dental students.

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