Assessment of compliance with U.S. Public Health Service clinical practice guideline for tobacco by primary care physicians.Harm Reduct J. 2015 Mar 07; 12:7.HR
The US Public Health Service clinical practice guideline treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update established an expanded standard of care, calling on physicians to consistently identify their patients who use tobacco and treat them using counseling and medication.
To assess compliance, we examined the extent to which physicians self-report following four of the five components of the 5A model: Ask about tobacco use, Advise patients who use tobacco to quit, Assist the patient in making a quit attempt, and Arrange for follow-up care. We used data from a Web-based panel survey administered to a convenience sample of 1,253 primary care providers (family/general practitioners, internists, and obstetrician/gynecologists). We found that 97.1% of the providers reported that they consistently Asked and documented tobacco use, while 98.6% reported that they consistently Advised their patients to quit using tobacco. Among the family/general practitioners and internists, 98.3% recommended "any" (medication, counseling, counseling and medication, telephone quitline) smoking cessation strategies (Assist). Among all providers, 48.0% reported that they consistently scheduled a follow-up visit (Arrange).
This study revealed that most primary care physicians reported that they Ask their patients about tobacco use, Advise them to quit, and Assist them in making a quit attempt, but only half reported that they Arrange a follow-up visit. Tobacco use screening and intervention are among the most effective clinical preventive services; thus, efforts to educate, encourage, and support primary care physicians to provide evidence-based treatments to their patients should be continued.