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Nursing education and beliefs towards tobacco cessation and control: a cross- sectional national survey (GHPSS) among nursing students in Greece

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Author(s): Patelarou Evridiki | Vardavas Constantine | Ntzilepi Penelope | Warren Charles | Barbouni Anastasia | Kremastinou Jenny | Connolly Gregory | Behrakis Panagiotis

Journal: Tobacco Induced Diseases
ISSN 1617-9625

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Within the healthcare system, nurses have the ability to influence their patients' smoking habits through counselling. Therefore, it is of great importance to appropriately train health professionals on smoking cessation strategies with the aim to help them provide advice to their patients. In light of the above, the objective of this study was to assess the association between Greek nursing students' beliefs towards tobacco control/smoking cessation and the professional training received. Methods During February 2009, we conducted a cross sectional national survey among all 3rd year nursing students of the two university based nursing departments in Greece (University of Athens, University of the Peloponnese). The Global Health Professional Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire was applied and following written informed consent 73% provided a completed questionnaire (n = 192/263 enrolled students). Results Overall, 33% were current active smokers, while 74% reported ever to experiment smoking. In regards to their beliefs towards tobacco control policies, non smokers were more positive in regards to banning smoking in restaurants (94% vs. 61%, p < 0.001), in bars and cafes (82% vs. 34%, p < 0.001), and all public places (93% vs. 51%, p < 0.001) when compared to current smokers. In comparison with students who had not received training on the importance of asking patients about their smoking habits, those that did were more likely to believe that nurses should have a role in smoking cessation and should act as role models for their patients. Conclusions Resources should be invested in improving the quality of undergraduate education in nursing departments in Greece with respect to tobacco control and smoking cessation.
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