Tobacco control education, attitudes and beliefs of Nigerian health profession students

Oluwatunmise Awojobi1 and Ray Croucher2

1Unit of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Dental Institute, King’s College London, UK

2Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Submitted: 20/03/2012; Accepted: 10/08/2012; Published: 19/08/2012

Int J Med Educ. 2012; 3:159-165; doi: 10.5116/ijme.5025.4f96

© 2012 Oluwatunmise Awojobi & Ray Croucher. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to explore tobacco control-related education of health profession students and demonstrate variations according to course of study.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of 154 of third year nursing, pharmacy, medical and dental students in a tertiary institution in Lagos, Nigeria. The validated Global Health Professional Students survey questionnaire was used to collect data on recall of tobacco-related training, attitudes to tobacco control and beliefs about the role of health professionals in tobacco control. This was voluntary and anonymous. Descriptive and univariate analysis were conducted.

Results: Only 11.8% (n=18) of all respondents recalled being trained on all possible items of formal tobacco-related training. Pharmacy students had significantly low levels of training recall (χ[sup]2[/sup][sub](3)[/sub]=9.88; p=0.02). Nursing students were reported to have the most positive attitudes to tobacco control with the highest mean score of 4.27 (95%CI= 3.88-4.66). However, there was no significant difference in attitudes to tobacco control. Compared to other students, Nursing students were significantly less likely to believe that as health professionals they had a role in tobacco-control (χ[sup]2[/sup][sub](3)[/sub] = 8.06; p=0.045).

Conclusions: Many respondents believed they have a role in providing cessation interventions and that specific training should be part of the education they receive. However, fewer respondents report receiving such training. The education and training of these samples of health profession students needs to place more emphasis on their role in tobacco control if they are to effectively function as health promoting health professionals in preventing tobacco-related diseases.