Competence for Tobacco Dependence Treatment: Student Self-Assessment and Project Comparison

Loewen, Jill, Simran Siani, and Samantha Southwell

Purpose
The purpose of this study was to determine student self-perception of competency to provide tobacco cessation counseling at UDMSD, comparing direct patient treatment with an instructor designed case study option.
Methods
256 students completed the survey, with a response rate of 97.7%. The highest degree of confidence was assessing a tobacco user’s motivation to quit and personalizing the benefits of quitting. Confidence was lowest with discussion of and providing patients with tobacco cessation medication.
Conclusion
Assessments such as this can provide information on students’ tobacco cessation counseling skills to develop appropriate didactic and clinical curriculum content.

 

Tobacco use accounts for more than 480,000 deaths every year and more than 16 million Americans live with a tobacco-related disease. Studies have indicated an increase in US dental school implementation of tobacco intervention curricula and tobacco cessation clinical activities. Students attain knowledge through a variety of approaches, including lectures, problem-based learning, e-learning and clinical skills through clinical instructions and practices. Assessing competency of these skills include self-report, preceptor reports, patient reports and surveys, traditional written testing, video-based tests, direct observation of actual encounters and objective structured clinical examinations that utilize standardized patients. Appropriate training can result in effectively helping patients quit tobacco use. It is the responsibility of professional schools to incorporate information into the dental curriculum about tobacco use, its impact on health, and ways to help patients quit. This training should include assessing competence of students in tobacco cessation counseling. The researchers sought to determine student self-perception of competency to provide tobacco cessation counseling at UDMSD, comparing the direct patient treatment experience with an instructor designed case study option.