REFERENCE: Hovell, M. F., Russos, S., Beckhelm, M. K., Jones, J. A., Burkham-Kreitner, S. M., Slymen, D. J., Hofstetter, C. R., Rubin, B. (1995). Compliance with primary prevention in private practice: Creating a tobacco-free environment. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 11, 288-293.
A sample of orthodontic practices (n = 40) from a controlled trial for clinician-initiated tobacco-use prevention was used to test the effectiveness of preventive medicine representative (PMR) visits in creating and maintaining an anti-tobacco office environment. Clinical staff of 20 offices, randomly assigned to the experimental group, were trained by a PMR on the use of anti-tobacco materials (no-smoking signs, posters, and print materials). Twenty control-group offices did not receive any training or special treatment. Subsequently, experimental-group offices were visited by a PMR once every three months and were telephoned six weeks after each visit over a 12-month period. During visits and phone calls, PMRs prompted offices to order anti-tobacco materials. Visits served to introduce offices to new materials and to encourage their continued use. Data from direct observations and self-report measures showed significant differences between experimental and control offices for display of anti-tobacco materials at 1.5 months and 12 months (P < .001). Results suggest that PMR visits may serve as an effective method of introducing and maintaining preventive medicine procedures in clinical environments.