Tobacco (36) Tobacco control in Indonesia (5) The role of health professionals (4)

3 March, 2023

Dear Eduardo,

In your message earlier today you noted "The data on Jakarta physicians' high level of knowledge about active and passive smoking in 2009 is striking. I could not find Pujianto's article to know how this knowledge had been evaluated."

I have found the abstract. The full text is also available (in Indonesian) via the URL below.

ABSTRACT: Indonesia is in the second phase of tobacco epidemic shown by 23,7% of people age 10+ years are smoking. In tobacco control programs, physicians play significant roles. To know how Indonesian physicians behave in facing smoking habits, a survey to 96 practicing physicians in three clinical departments has been undertaken in Jakarta. The survey identified that only one in 50 (2,1%) physicians smoke daily. As high as 93.8% physicians know about negative impact of passive smokers, 84.4% know that low tar/nicotine has significant impact on health, 93.8% agree that physicians should be one of the role model to smoking cessation, and 95.8% agree on free smoke environment in all hospital premises. However, 66.7% physicians did not regularly asking smoking behavior of their patients and 38% did not advice patients to stop smoking. Logistic regression produce 28.4 times higher probability of physicians in Lung and Heart Clinic to ask smoking behavior of their patients as compared to physicians in Internal Medicines. The authors suggest to introduce a special continuing medical education on smoking and smoking cessation of practicing physicians.

CITATION: Pujianto, Thabrany, H., Hidayat, B., Ong, M., & FItriah. (2009). Praktik Dokter Terkait Perilaku Merokok Pasien. Jurnal Kesehatan Masyarakat Nasional, 4(3), 115–119.

At first glance, the high percentages give the *impression* of high levels of knowledge, but this may or may not be a true reflection, and it is open to interpretation. For example, is it a reflection of high knowledge that one in 20 physicians appear to be unaware of the harms of passive smoking or that one in 7 apparently believe that low tar cigarettes do not have a significant impact on health? Again the interpretation depends on the detail of the questions asked and how they were administered.

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: