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Tobacco education in UK dental schools: A survey of current practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard HollidayORCiD, Professor Philip Preshaw



ObjectiveTo investigate the current provision of tobacco education (tobacco use and cessation), assessment and e-cigarette education in UK dental and dental hygiene and therapy (DHT) undergraduate programmes.Materials and MethodsThe study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire sent to all UK institutions training dental and DHT students during the academic year 2015/2016.ResultsTwenty-five programmes returned completed questionnaires (response rate 68%). All programmes (100%) reported delivering tobacco education, delivered by multiple individuals in 78% of the programmes. Assessment of the theoretical and practical aspects of tobacco education was reported in 80% and 72% of the programmes, respectively. More formal teaching time was devoted to the theoretical aspects (100% >2 hours) rather than the practical aspects (76% > 2 hours) of tobacco education. All programmes expected their graduates to be clinically competent at discussing the health consequences of smoking, deliver a brief smoking cessation intervention, and referring patients to stop smoking services. The use of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training “Very Brief Advice” (NCSCT VBA) training package was reported to be mandatory in 36%, and recommended, in 44% of programmes. Specialised stop smoking services delivered teaching in 40% of both dental and DHT training programmes whilst another 40% reported previous input from specialist smoking cessation services but not in 2015/2016. Most programmes reported delivery of teaching on electronic cigarettes, with 12% delivering a standalone lecture on this topic.ConclusionsTobacco education is an important component of dental training. Dental education programmes should remain responsive to a rapidly changing field and fully utilise the available resources.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holliday R, Amin K, Lawrence V, Preshaw PM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Dental Education

Year: 2018

Volume: 22

Issue: 2

Pages: e248-e252

Print publication date: 01/05/2018

Online publication date: 27/06/2017

Acceptance date: 31/05/2017

Date deposited: 28/02/2018

ISSN (print): 1396-5883

ISSN (electronic): 1600-0579

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/eje.12280


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