Introduction: Physicians in training must be able to counsel their patients on smoking cessation, however, little is known about the barriers that they face to counselling their patients.
Aims: The study sought to identify barriers to smoking cessation counselling specific to physicians in training.
Methods: Qualitative interviews in the form of focus groups were conducted with 30 medical residents. Focus groups were audio taped, transcribed verbatim and coded by two independent reviewers. Similar codes were grouped to form categories and then aggregated to form themes.
Results: Seven themes emerged describing resident barriers to provision of smoking cessation counselling : (1) Lack of self-efficacy for providing counselling; (2) their perception that patients are not willing to change; (3) a lack of available resources/information for providers and patients; (4) differences in supervising physician's recommendations; (5) perceived lack of time; (6) a perception of lack of continuous care; and (7) a lack of practical skills in counselling.
Conclusions: This study highlighted residents’ perceived barriers to providing smoking cessation counselling. These barriers are similar to those encountered by other providers. Additional barriers specific to residency exist and more training is necessary.
Practice Implications: The barriers that physicians encounter to smoking cessation counselling must be addressed early on in residency training.