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Objectives: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) of primary care physicians (PCPs) regarding tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) and to identify barriers to TDT practice in Muscat, Oman. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from September 2019 to December 2019 at all 27 health centres in Muscat. All 313 PCPs working in these health centres were invited to participate. An adapted version of a previously validated 36-item questionnaire was used to assess KAPs regarding TDT services. Results: A total of 255 PCPs completed the survey (response rate: 81.5%) and they demonstrated poor knowledge (40%) but positive attitudes (60%) about TDT services. Of these, the majority were female (85.9%), had never smoked (99.2%) and were general practitioners (64.3%). The mean age was 34.3 ± 6.3 years. Only 28.2% had previously received TDT training and less than half displayed accurate TDT-related knowledge, with undergraduate medical school representing the main source of such knowledge (58.8%). While 96.9% of the PCPs agreed on the importance of TDT, only 28.6% reported feeling sufficiently confident to provide such services themselves. Lack of training (83.5%) and time (71.4%) were the main barriers to TDT practice. Conclusion: Overall, PCPs in Muscat demonstrated poor knowledge but positive attitudes with regard to TDT; however, further knowledge and training is required in order to ensure the effective and accurate provision of TDT services. These findings provide baseline data which may be of value for further research and in overcoming barriers to TDT practice in Oman; for instance, establishing cessation services as part of the package of care in primary health centres could address the time constraints barriers identified by the PCPs.
Keywords: Tobacco Dependence; Smoking Cessation; Primary Care Physicians; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Oman.
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