Inter professional initiative using service training to enable a fisher folk community to quit tobacco habits
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A.J Institute of Dental Sciences, Public Health Dentistry, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A850
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Fisher folk are said to use tobacco products to avoid sea sickness and to stay awake during night, while working at sea. The people in this community have only minimal education, low income and are unaware of harmful effects of tobacco. The present dental curriculum does not emphasise on training undergraduates on anti-tobacco counselling. Dentists are in a strategic position to diagnose oral cancerous and precancerous lesions and facilitate tobacco cessation. As tobacco addiction is based on physical, psychological and behavioural factors, it could be managed through multifactorial approach by inter professional collaboration. The aim of study was to assess the effectiveness of inter professional initiative using service training to enable a fisher folk community to quit tobacco habits.

Intervention or response:
A training module was formulated by an inter professional team consisting of psychiatrist, public health dentist, tobacco interventionist and primary health care workers. Thirty dental interns participated in training programme on lifestyle of fisher folk, tobacco epidemic, harmful effects of tobacco use and tobacco cessation. The interns were also trained for role play in local language, conveying the same message, to empower them to conduct awareness programmes in the community. A house to house survey was conducted by primary health workers in 208 houses of the community to assess knowledge and attitude of fisher folk towards tobacco use before and after tobacco Intervention Programme

Results and lessons learnt:
There was highly significant increase in knowledge and skills of dental interns after Tobacco Intervention Training programme and 52% increase in the number of smoke free homes in the community.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The inter professional initiative empowered interns to incorporate tobacco cessation in routine dental practice and effectively enabled fisher folk community in adopting smoke free home policy. This initiative can be incorporated into the dental curriculum for raising future generation of dentists trained in tobacco cessation.

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