Undergraduate dietetics programs do not support training students in smoking cessation

Jeffrey S. Hampl, Deanne M. Wilson, Linda A. Vaughan, Kathleen S. Dixon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Although tobacco use is the leading contributor to death and disability in the United States, allied health professionals often lack knowledge of smoking cessation techniques. The objective of this study was to identify the extent to which undergraduate dietetics programs (referred to as didactic programs in dietetics [DPD]) teach about tobacco and smoking cessation interventions and also DPD directors' opinions regarding tobacco and smoking cessation in dietetics education. All DPD directors in the United States (n = 231) were sent a questionnaire to assess programs' and directors' demographics, courses that included tobacco and smoking cessation education, and directors' opinions pertaining to tobacco and smoking cessation education. The response rate was 49% (n = 113). On average, DPD directors did not agree that tobacco and smoking cessation education should be a formal part of undergraduate dietetics programs and that it is not as important as other content areas required of dietetics students. Just 37% of directors believed that a dietitian's job responsibility included educating patients on smoking cessation. Only 7% of DPD directors had formal education on smoking cessation and tobacco use, but 53% had formal education on behavior modification. More than half of DPD programs (56%) did not offer any courses that provided tobacco and smoking cessation education. These results indicate that most undergraduate dietetics programs do not incorporate tobacco and smoking cessation education in their curricula. Dietetics and other allied health educators could consider including smoking cessation education in their curricula to ensure that future health professionals can contribute to Healthy People 2010 objectives related to smoking cessation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)218-222
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Allied Health
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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