Smokeless tobacco cessation support in dental hospitals in Pakistan: Dentists and dental patients' perspectives on current practices, support needed and opportunities available

Shaista Rasool, Fiona Dobbie, Fayaz Ahmad, Zohaib Khan, Richard Holliday, Linda Bauld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

INTRODUCTION: Despite evidence on the effectiveness of tobacco cessation interventions in dental settings, the implementation remains low, especially for smokeless tobacco (ST). The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the influences governing the implementation of ST cessation support in dental hospitals.

METHODS: A multi-centre qualitative study was conducted at two tertiary-care dental hospitals, in Pakistan. Semi-structured interview guide, guided by the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model, were used to capture the views of dentists (n=12) and dental patients (n=12), regarding ST cessation support in dental hospitals. Framework approach was used to thematically analyse the data.

RESULTS: Screening of ST users in routine dental practice was seldom practiced and the cessation support offered was brief advice. Barriers identified by dentists included: fear of offending and stereotyping patients; lack of knowledge and skills; lack of privacy; lack of belief in the effectiveness of behavioural support; lack of time and workload pressure; ST use amongst dentists; lack of referral systems and; the absence of a mandatory requirement of offering ST cessation support. Facilitators included: delivering support through junior dentists and the length of interaction between the dentist and the patient. Naswar was the most common ST product used by dental patients. Patients reported receiving negligible cessation support from any healthcare provider.

CONCLUSIONS: A range of influences governing the implementation of ST cessation support in dental hospitals were identified. These findings can inform the implementation of behavioural interventions for ST cessation in dental and other clinical settings, in low and middle-income countries.

IMPLICATIONS: Smokeless Tobacco (ST) control considerably lags, in comparison to the control of combustible tobacco. This is the first study that qualitatively explores the implementation of ST cessation support in dental settings in Pakistan. Utilizing the 'Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behaviour' model, it provides an in-depth understanding of the inability of dentists in implementing effective behavioural interventions for ST cessation support in routine dental practice. Highlighting the striking discrepancy between the patients' need for and receptivity towards cessation support and the dentists' concerns over their patients' receptivity towards cessation support, it calls for the need for effective implementation strategies to optimize dentist-led tobacco cessation interventions in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

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