Documentation of smoking: Role of age, gender, and ethnicity
This study assessed the role of age, gender, and ethnicity in chart documentation of smoking by primary care providers. Clinic patients (n = 304) were asked their smoking status and medical records were reviewed. Twenty-nine percent of reviewed patients were smokers, 27.6% former smokers, and 43.1% nonsmokers. Providers were more likely to document smoking among males (OR = 4.6; 95% CI = 2.2-9.5), middle-aged patients (OR = 4.0; 95% CI = 1.4-11.0), and smokers (OR = 8.1; 95% CI = 4.1-16.0). Data revealed selective documentation of smoking in males and middle-aged patients by providers, suggesting gender and age bias in the recognition and documentation of this risky behavior. We conclude that providers should screen for smoking in all patients regardless of age or gender.