Factors contributing to tobacco use among physician assistants in Kansas
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Research has been conducted on the prevalence of tobacco use among physicians and nurses and whether or not these providers who use tobacco are more or less effective in promoting cessation counseling to their patients. Similar research has not been conducted among PAs. Methodology: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to explore the prevalence of tobacco use among a convenience sample of physician assistants (PAs) in Kansas, factors contributing to their tobacco use, and whether or not their tobacco use affects their beliefs concerning tobacco cessation counseling. A survey was sent to Kansas PAs regarding these questions and results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-Square analysis. Results: The survey response rate was 46% (n=577). The number of PAs that smoked and used other forms of tobacco was 4.3 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. Beliefs concerning the health dangers of tobacco and the importance of tobacco cessation counseling, among others, were statistically significant among the tobacco users versus the non-tobacco users. Physician Assistants that were smokers believed that tobacco cessation counseling was less important than non-smokers. Also, PAs that smoked, believed counseling was less difficult than the non-smokers. Finally, PAs that use other forms of tobacco believed the health dangers of tobacco were less than those of non-tobacco users. Conclusion: This preliminary study represents the first evaluation of PA’s smoking habits and their perceptions about tobacco cessation counseling. Findings were similar to other health care providers, in particular physicians. A large nationwide study is recommended before conclusions can be generalized to PAs.
A project presented to the Department of Physician Assistant of Wichita State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Physician Assistant.