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TOBACCO CESSATION SERVICES AND RELATED CHALLENGES AMONG DENTISTS IN SOUTHWEST NIGERIA.

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Introduction:

Oral health problems arising from tobacco use have been reported and some of these conditions can be prevented through Tobacco Cessation (TC). Dentists are well positioned to provide tobacco cessation services to patients. In Nigeria, little is documented on the provision of cessation services among dentists and the challenges. This study was conducted to assess the cessation practices of dentists and their related challenges in Southwest Nigeria.

Methods:

A cross sectional study was carried out in all the tertiary healthcare facilities within the six states of the Southwest geopolitical zone. A total population survey involving dentists below the cadre of Consultant/Chief Dental Officers undergoing postgraduate training and/or providing services in the tertiary hospitals was conducted using a pretested semi structured self-administered questionnaire. This included questions on challenges experienced in the provision of TC services in their respective facilities.

Results:

A total of 224 eligible dentists were approached to participate in this study with a response rate of 91.5%. Mean age and completed years of working experience were 33.8±5.2 and 6.1±4.4 respectively. In reporting challenges to implementing tobacco cessation services, 60% of respondents reported 'lack of perceived efficacy and training' as the major barriers.

Conclusion:

From this study, incorporation of tobacco cessation into the dental curriculum will increase the knowledge and competence of dentists. Provision of systems support to dentists willing to help patients quit smoking may be important in ensuring the health system is responsive to the tobacco control needs of patients in Southwest Nigeria.

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