Practices, attitudes, and knowledge about Crohn’s disease and smoking cessation among gastroenterologists

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Abstract

Objective

Cigarette smoking is one of the most important, modifiable environmental factors in Crohn’s disease (CD) and screening for tobacco use is an official recommendation and quality measure in the care of CD patients. The objective of this study was to learn more about gastroenterologists’ practices, opinions, and knowledge in this area.

Patients and methods

A 15 question survey was sent through email to two national gastroenterology distribution lists. Questions were written in multiple choice formats and were designed to collect information about gastroenterologists’ practices, attitudes, and knowledge regarding smoking cessation in CD patients. Responses were stratified by practice setting, experience, and inflammatory bowel disease-focus. Responses were anonymous and were collected in a secure, online database.

Results

A total of 141 respondents completed the survey. Overall, 89% of participants screened their CD patients for smoking more than 75% of the time. In all, 62% provided smoking cessation counseling more than 75% of the time. Overall, 94% of respondents felt comfortable discussing the benefits of smoking cessation with their patients. In all, 56% felt comfortable discussing smoking cessation strategies with their patients. Overall, 88% of respondents agreed that gastroenterologists should provide smoking cessation counseling; however, 43 and 11% agreed that the gastroenterologist should be the primary counselor and primary prescriber of cessation-related pharmacotherapy, respectively.

Conclusion

Surveyed gastroenterologists agree that smoking cessation is an important part of the care of CD patients and this is reflected in their screening practices. Counseling occurs irregularly and many gastroenterologists do not feel comfortable discussing cessation strategies. Future guidelines should provide further guidance on the gastroenterologist’s role in smoking cessation counseling for CD patients.

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