Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 256301, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/256301
Research Article

How the Most Trusted Venues for Health-Related Information Influence Physician Referrals to Smoking Cessation Services

Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, K-50, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA

Received 29 April 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editors: P. Bendtsen, C. M. Buchalla, S. Gallus, and W. Kirch

Copyright © 2012 Judy Kruger et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Public health programs seek to educate physicians by using a variety of venues. Therefore, it is important to understand which health information sources physicians are using and how these sources affect referrals. We explored how venues for health-related information affect physicians' referral practices to smoking cessation services. The 2008 DocStyles survey asked physicians to rank a list of their most trusted sources of health-related information. The analysis was restricted to 1,617 physicians who responded to all variables of interest. In this sample, the most trusted sources of health-related information cited by physicians were medical journals (95.9%), government health agencies (82.2%), other physicians (76.4%), professional medical societies (75.2%), and medical Web sites or podcasts (65.9%). Medical providers were more likely to refer tobacco users to cessation services if they used professional medical societies as a source to obtain patient health-related information, compared with medical providers not using this source (multivariate odds ratio = 1.31; 95% confidence interval = 1.03–1.66). Physicians use many health information sources. Therefore, to reach physicians effectively, a broad dissemination of guidelines and best practices in tobacco control is needed and should include information for medical societies.