Social differences in who receives questions and advice about smoking habits when visiting primary care – Results from a population based study in Sweden in 2012

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether there are social disparities in who receives questions and advice on smoking habits when visiting primary care and whether these disparities can be explained by differences in smoking habits. The study is based on 30,188 individuals aged 16–84 years who responded to a population survey questionnaire in 2012 in four counties in mid-Sweden (response rate 51%). Multivariate logistic regression models were used in statistical analyses. A total of 32% of those who visited a health care centre during the last three months reported that they were asked about their smoking habits during their latest visit, 6% received advice. In general, daily smokers received more often questions, and especially advice, than non-smokers. Persons with low education received more advice than persons with high education due to higher smoking prevalence. However, persons on disability pension and the unemployed were less frequently asked about their smoking habits than employees even though they smoke more. Women received less often questions and advice than men. Persons born outside the Nordic countries received advice twice as often as native Swedes regardless of whether they were daily smokers or not. In Sweden, those who are asked and, in particular, receive advice about changing their smoking habits while visiting primary care are mainly those who need it most. But the findings also imply that measures to reduce smoking should be intensified for women and are perhaps too intense for persons born outside the Nordic countries.

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Molarius, A., Hellstrand, M., & Engström, S. (2017). Social differences in who receives questions and advice about smoking habits when visiting primary care – Results from a population based study in Sweden in 2012. Preventive Medicine Reports, 5, 236–240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.12.016

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