Publication-only abstracts (abstract number preceded by an "e"), published in conjunction with the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting but not presented at the Meeting, can be found online only.
Tobacco cessation practices among primary care physicians in northern Illinois.
Symptoms and Survivorship
2019 ASCO Annual Meeting
J Clin Oncol 37, 2019 (suppl; abstr e23054)
Author(s): Cheryl Nocon, Mihir Bhayani, Amanda Karcioglu; NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL
Background: Tobacco cessation is an acknowledged key component of cancer survivorship programs, but significant barriers to program implementation exist. In a 2012 ASCO member survey, 86% of respondents agreed that tobacco cessation should be a routine part of clinical care. However, only 29% reported adequate training. A 2013 survey of physicians at NCI Cancer Centers also showed high levels of support for such programs, but only 1% of oncologists personally engaged themselves. This view is in line with ASCO guidelines that recommend cessation interventions by primary care (PCPs). There is a disconnect between the oncologist’s desire to provide high quality tobacco cessation support for cancer patients and the delegation and delivery of such support. The goal of our study is to evaluate current tobacco cessation practices of PCPs in a large integrated healthcare system. Methods: An electronic survey was sent to all PCPs (n = 165) of the NorthShore Medical Group (Northern Illinois) with questions about their views and practices regarding tobacco cessation. Results: 53 PCPs responded to the survey (response rate of 32%). 94% of respondents believe that PCPs are primarily responsible for addressing tobacco cessation with general patients. 89% believe that PCPs are also responsible for cancer patients, although 34% believe the responsibility should be shared with oncologists. 100% believe that tobacco use affects cancer outcomes in their patients, and 98% report sufficient training in providing cessation support. 90% always ask their patients about tobacco status at the initial visit; this drops to 21% at follow-up visits. For current smokers, 57% of PCPs recommend tobacco cessation all the time and 36% recommend services most of the time. Lack of patient willingness was the most frequently cited barrier to tobacco cessation efforts (74%), followed by lack of time (46%) and lack of resources (42%). Conclusions: PCPs view themselves as primarily responsible for addressing tobacco cessation with their patients but are limited by multiple factors. This primary care-based approach is endorsed by ASCO and other clinical guidelines. More financial and clinical support should be allocated for successful efforts against tobacco dependency.