Increasing Tobacco Intervention Strategies by Oral Health Practitioners in Indiana

Lorinda Coan, L. Windsor, Laura Romito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To implement and assess an evidence-based 7-hour continuing education program for Indiana oral health care practitioners on tobacco use, dependence and treatment using a team-based approach. Program effectiveness was assessed by participants' reported increase in knowledge and the extent to which they implemented course concepts and strategies into dental practice.

METHODS: Course attendees' study participation was based on agreeing to provide their contact information and to complete two surveys (an 18 item post-session and 14 item 3-month follow-up) which captured their self-reported knowledge and application of course concepts. Surveys included open-ended and multiple choice (dichotomous or 5-point Likert scale) items. Follow-up surveys were mailed / delivered electronically to participants; non-responders were sent two reminders. De-identified data were analyzed in an aggregate using descriptive statistics, percentages and counts.

RESULTS: Eleven programs were attended by 626 practitioners. Initial survey response rate was 91% (565); hygienists (70%), dentists (25%); unidentified (5%). Most indicated the program enhanced their knowledge of most course concepts; 98% (522) planned to use learned communication strategies. Of dentists, 90% (113) planned to refer to the Indiana quitline and 60% (71) planned to provide patient cessation materials. Follow-up response rate was 40% (250); 79% (184) reported implementing cessation communication strategies. One-third of respondents reported referring patients to the quitline for counseling.

CONCLUSION: Continuing education for oral health providers in understanding tobacco use, dependence and treatment may be beneficial to enhance their capacity and willingness to integrate tobacco cessation interventions into oral healthcare settings. However, this does not necessarily assure that they will change their practice behaviors by utilizing the learned concepts and skills with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • continuing education
  • tobacco cessation
  • tobacco dependence education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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