Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret K. Glenn.


Smoking is a national epidemic. Medical providers are the first line of defense to help patients reduce or stop smoking. However, smoking cessation counseling does not occur consistently or regularly. Medical providers must be trained to counsel for smoking cessation, with certain areas requiring attention in order for the training to be successful. There is a relationship between medical students who have high rates of self-efficacy related to smoking cessation counseling and high rates of actual counseling. Understanding the relationships between knowledge, skills, attitudes, and the medical school year in training on self-efficacy is important to better prepare medical students to counsel for smoking cessation. Medical students of all training years at a regional university were asked to participate in this study. They were divided into two groups; pre-clerkship year (Cohorts 1 and 2) and clerkship year (Cohorts 3 and 4). Thirty-five participants completed a 96 item questionnaire. This exploratory study examined the relationship between knowledge about smoking use, attitudes toward patients who smoke, attitude toward communication skills training, attitude toward smoking cessation counseling, use of motivational interviewing (MI) skills, as well as the year in medical school and the effects of medical student self-efficacy on smoking cessation counseling. Pearson correlations and a Spearman rank-order correlation examined the strength of the relationships between the variables. Significant results were found for knowledge and attitudes on self-efficacy, but skills did not show a significant relationship with self-efficacy. Additionally, differences between medical student knowledge and attitudes were explored using a Mann-Whitney test. There were no significant differences between groups in these variables. Limitations, clinical implications, and recommendations for future research relate to the study design, recruitment process, curriculum changes, and interventions for medical students are also discussed.