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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


FERRERO, Fernando  and  GRUPO DE ESTUDIO DEL TABAQUISMO EN LA RESIDENCIA DE PEDIATRIA et al. Prevalence of tobacco use among pediatric residents in Argentina. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.6, pp.395-399. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of smoking among pediatric residents in Argentina, to evaluate the risk factors associated with that habit, and to analyze the attitudes of these professionals with regard to tobacco use by their patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using anonymous self-administered questionnaire surveys. The surveys were used in May 2002 with pediatric residents in eight hospitals in five provinces of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Mendoza, and Neuquen. The study variables were: sex, age, the year of residence, the number of times per week on night duty, if the resident's mother or father smoked, the age at which began to smoke, the place and the hospital activities in which most often smoked, if the immediate supervisor was a smoker, if had increased tobacco use after becoming a resident, attitude toward tobacco use by patients and their parents, and knowledge concerning the risks of smoking. We calculated the frequencies of the studied variables and the odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Multiple logistic regression was used in a model with all the possible predictive variables. The level of significance was P < 0.05. RESULTS: A total of 349 responses were obtained (98.8% of the residents present at the time of the survey). The prevalence of smokers among the surveyed pediatric residents was 22.2%. Among the smokers, 38.9% of them said they smoked more since becoming a resident, and 63.9% of them said that night duty was the hospital activity in which they most often smoked. After adjusting for the other variables, the remaining risk factors for smoking were having a mother who smoked (OR: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.57 to 4.84) and living alone (OR: 3.15; 95% CI: 1.58 to 6.26). Out of all the residents (both smokers and nonsmokers), only 26.5% of them said that they explained to their patients the risks of tobacco use, and only 23.2% of them suggested quitting smoking or not beginning; there were no statistically significant differences between the smoker residents and the nonsmoker residents. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of smoking among the pediatric residents is high and is close to the level found in other Argentine physicians. The factors associated with smoking were having a mother who smoked and living alone. The residents should take a more active role with patients or relatives of patients who smoke. Activities need to be put into place that improve the level of training on this subject in medical school and during residency.

Keywords : Tabaquismo; rol del médico; Argentina.

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