Knowledge, attitudes, and training in tobacco control among dental students in a public dental school in Catalonia
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WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain
Institute for Research in Dental Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):65
Dental students are part of the future health labor force, and hence it is important to know their knowledge, attitudes and training in tobacco control to reduce tobacco-related health conditions.

To assess dental students' knowledge, attitudes, and perception on training in tobacco control, including tobacco dependence and treatment.

We conducted a cross-sectional study at a public dental school in Catalonia, 2020-2021. We employed a self-administered questionnaire which questions consisted of true or false statements about clinical students' knowledge about tobacco-related issues. We assessed their attitudes towards smoking with a 5-points Likert scale categorized in two statement. We asked whether they received training in several tobacco-related topics. We estimated frequencies and percentages and calculated logistic regressions models adjusting for independent variables sex, dental school year and smoking status.

162 (82,2%) dental students participated (75.9% women). Twenty-six point seven percent of them were smokers (26.7%) were smokers (32.4% of men and 25% of women). Few respondents (34.5%) knew the test to assess smokers' nicotine dependence, and only 50.0% knew which the effective smoking cessation therapies are. Most participants (97.4%) had been taught about health risks of smoking, 52.9% about the reasons why people smoke and, only 25.6% on how to provide smoking cessation aid. Almost 100% knew the association between tobacco use and oral cancer and perimplantitis. But only 75% knew the association between tobacco and tooth decay prevalence. In general, the students did not report differences in the training received. A significant difference was observed by sex in the training received on the risk of smoking (male aOR = 0.08 95% CI: 0.01-0.54), in training related to passive/active smoking by sex (male aOR = 0.27 95% CI: 0.09-0.81), tobacco consumption (never smoked aOR = 4.76 95% CI: 1.41-16.07) and grade (5th grade aOR = 3.65 95% CI: 1.15-11.62); and by grade relates to training in pharmacological treatments to quit smoking besides NRT (5th grade aOR = 2.43 95% CI: 1.08-6.04).

Dental students report lack of sufficient knowledge and training to assess and treat tobacco dependence. There are knowledge issues and clinical competences that should be deepened in their training as health professionals.

No Conflicts of Interest were reported.