• Residents in primary care specialties care for many patients who smoke cigarettes, but little is known about their smoking cessation counseling (SCC). We surveyed 309 residents (72 family practice, 171 internal medicine, and 66 pediatrics residents) in 13 programs to determine their practices, knowledge, attitudes, and training in SCC. More than 90% thought physicians are responsible for SCC, the majority routinely took smoking histories, and 80% attempted to motivate patients to quit smoking. However, 25% or fewer reported discussing obstacles to quitting, setting a quit date, prescribing nicotine gum, scheduling follow-up visits, or providing self-help materials. Family practice residents used more SCC techniques (1.8) than did internal medicine (0.8) and pediatrics (0.1) residents. Only 54% of residents reported recent SCC training and 13% reported formal SCC training. Recent training correlated with the number of counseling techniques used. Residents in primary care specialties report positive attitudes but inadequate practice and training in SCC.
(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:2469-2473)