PURPOSE: To investigate the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of medical students enrolled in UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery school year 2010-2011 and examine whether it changed during the course of education for each group using a cross-sectional survey approach.
METHODS: Medical students (n=1256) answered a structural questionnaire adapted from Global Adult Tobacco Survey. The chi-square tests for significance were used for comparison between two categories and for trends among more than 2 categories; 95% confidence interval were given in the test when appropriate. Correlations between continuous variables were performed using Pearson product correlations.
RESULTS: A total of 1300 medical students surveyed, 1256 returned a completed, legible survey. Among the medical students surveyed, 477 (38%) were first year, 220 (17.5%) were second year, 197 (15.7%) were third year, 296 (23.6) were fourth year and 66 (5.3%) were interns. Out of 1256 medical students surveyed, 168 (13.3%) are current smokers. More than 90% of medical students think that smoking can cause serious illness such as stroke, coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease, lung cancer, COPD, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer and neonatal death. However, it is very alarming that only 67% of them think that smoking can cause bladder cancer. More than 90% of medical students also believe that doctors should set a good example to patients by not smoking, that there should be teaching program/lectures for tobacco and cessation techniques in medical schools. When asked if they have enough knowledge to counsel patients on smoking cessation, only 82.2% agree that they have enough knowledge to do it.
CONCLUSIONS: This survey showed that 369 (29.3%) of medical students, the future physicians are smokers or have had smoked tobacco during their years in medical school. there is a significant difference about their knowledge But there was an overall increase in knowledge in terms of year level by answering “yes” more than “no” and “I don’t know”. This clearly showed that educational interventions could lead to significant changes in knowledge among medical students. there is a positive attitude about doctors should set a good example to patients by not smoking and there should be teaching program/lectures for tobacco and cessation techniques in medical schools.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: It is very alarming that not all our medical students, our future health care provider have not enough knowledge and with negative attitudes towards smoking.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Apolonio Javier, Ria Arlina Calata-Rosales, Ronila Santos
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