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      Cross-sectional online survey to determine the prevalence, knowledge, attitude and practice of tobacco cessation among governmental healthcare workers in Qatar

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      BMJ Open
      BMJ Publishing Group
      epidemiology, public health, preventive medicine

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          One effective approach of tobacco control is to encourage the role and the participation of healthcare workers in the prevention efforts against tobacco use. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of tobacco use among governmental healthcare workers in Qatar, to assess healthcare workers’ knowledge, attitude and practice of tobacco cessation and to predict factors associated with above average tobacco cessation practice scores.


          A cross-sectional survey study was conducted among healthcare workers working in Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Healthcare Centres in Qatar using a self-administered online questionnaire in 2019.


          Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Healthcare Centres in Qatar.


          Governmental healthcare workers aged 18 years and above (n=7214).


          The response rate of our online survey was 20.6% (7214/35 000). Of the 7214 healthcare workers, 16.3% (n=1178) were current tobacco users. In particular, the prevalence of tobacco use among physicians was 11.0%. Fifty-two per cent of healthcare workers (n=2338) attained an average knowledge score (12–17), 71.8% (n=3094) attained positive attitude scores (8–12) and 57.1% (n=3052) attained above average practice scores (12–26). Among the different professions, physicians were having the highest mean knowledge (15.3±4.7), attitude (9.4±1.9) and practice (13.7±6.1) scores. Multivariate analysis showed that having good knowledge (adjusted OR (AOR)=2.8; p<0.0001) and training (AOR=2.4; p<0.0001) were the strongest factors associated positively with above average tobacco cessation practice scores.


          Healthcare workers in Qatar have a relatively similar prevalence of tobacco use than earlier studies with no significant increase. Investing more in training programmes for healthcare workers are needed to root out this negative behaviour and to increase their skills to assist users to quit.

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          Most cited references41

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          Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study

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            Physician advice for smoking cessation.

            Healthcare professionals frequently advise people to improve their health by stopping smoking. Such advice may be brief, or part of more intensive interventions. The aims of this review were to assess the effectiveness of advice from physicians in promoting smoking cessation; to compare minimal interventions by physicians with more intensive interventions; to assess the effectiveness of various aids to advice in promoting smoking cessation, and to determine the effect of anti-smoking advice on disease-specific and all-cause mortality. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register in January 2013 for trials of interventions involving physicians. We also searched Latin American databases through BVS (Virtual Library in Health) in February 2013. Randomised trials of smoking cessation advice from a medical practitioner in which abstinence was assessed at least six months after advice was first provided. We extracted data in duplicate on the setting in which advice was given, type of advice given (minimal or intensive), and whether aids to advice were used, the outcome measures, method of randomisation and completeness of follow-up.The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow-up. We also considered the effect of advice on mortality where long-term follow-up data were available. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence in each trial, and biochemically validated rates where available. People lost to follow-up were counted as smokers. Effects were expressed as relative risks. Where possible, we performed meta-analysis using a Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect model. We identified 42 trials, conducted between 1972 and 2012, including over 31,000 smokers. In some trials, participants were at risk of specified diseases (chest disease, diabetes, ischaemic heart disease), but most were from unselected populations. The most common setting for delivery of advice was primary care. Other settings included hospital wards and outpatient clinics, and industrial clinics.Pooled data from 17 trials of brief advice versus no advice (or usual care) detected a significant increase in the rate of quitting (relative risk (RR) 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.42 to 1.94). Amongst 11 trials where the intervention was judged to be more intensive the estimated effect was higher (RR 1.84, 95% CI 1.60 to 2.13) but there was no statistical difference between the intensive and minimal subgroups. Direct comparison of intensive versus minimal advice showed a small advantage of intensive advice (RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.56). Direct comparison also suggested a small benefit of follow-up visits. Only one study determined the effect of smoking advice on mortality. This study found no statistically significant differences in death rates at 20 years follow-up. Simple advice has a small effect on cessation rates. Assuming an unassisted quit rate of 2 to 3%, a brief advice intervention can increase quitting by a further 1 to 3%. Additional components appear to have only a small effect, though there is a small additional benefit of more intensive interventions compared to very brief interventions.
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              A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. A U.S. Public Health Service report.

              To summarize the U.S. Public Health Service guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update, which provides recommendations for clinical interventions and system changes to promote the treatment of tobacco dependence. An independent panel of 24 scientists and clinicians selected by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on behalf of the U.S. Public Health Service. A consortium of eight governmental and nonprofit organizations sponsored the update. Approximately 8700 English-language, peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, published between 1975 and 2007, were reviewed for data that addressed assessment and treatment of tobacco dependence. This literature served as the basis for more than 35 meta-analyses. Two panel meetings and numerous conference calls and staff meetings were held to evaluate meta-analyses and relevant literature, to synthesize the results, and to develop recommendations. The updated guideline was then externally reviewed by more than 90 experts, made available for public comment, and revised. This evidence-based, updated guideline provides specific recommendations regarding brief and intensive tobacco-cessation interventions as well as system-level changes designed to promote the assessment and treatment of tobacco use. Brief clinical approaches for patients willing and unwilling to quit are described.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                1 April 2021
                : 11
                : 4
                [1]departmentMedicine, Tobacco Control Center, WHO Collaborative Center , Hamad Medical Corporation , Doha, Qatar
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Silva Kouyoumjian; SKouyoumjian@ 123456hamad.qa
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                Funded by: This work was supported by the Medical Research Center in Hamad Medical Corporation Doha-Qatar;
                Award ID: MRC- Routine grant 01-18-198
                Public Health
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                epidemiology,public health,preventive medicine
                epidemiology, public health, preventive medicine


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