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Structured Smoking Cessation Training for Medical Students: a prospective study

Herold, R; Schiekirka, S; Brown, J; Bobak, A; McEwen, A; Raupach, T; (2016) Structured Smoking Cessation Training for Medical Students: a prospective study. Nicotine and Tobacco Research , 18 (12) pp. 2209-2215. 10.1093/ntr/ntw191. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: Physician adherence to guideline recommendations regarding the provision of counseling and support for smokers willing to quit is low. A lack of training during undergraduate medical education has been identified as a potential cause. This prospective intervention study evaluated a novel teaching module for medical students. Methods: As part of a 6-week cardiovascular course, 125 fourth-year undergraduate medical students received a multimodal and interactive teaching module on smoking cessation, including online learning material, lectures, seminars, and practical skills training. Short- and medium-term effects on knowledge, skills, attitudes, and self-reported practice were measured using written examinations and an objective structured clinical examination at the end of the module and 6 months later. Results were compared to data obtained from a historical control cohort (n = 70) unexposed to the intervention. Results: At the 6-month follow-up, scores in the knowledge test were significantly higher in the intervention than the control group (61.1% vs. 51.7%; p < .001). A similar pattern was observed in the objective structured clinical examination (71.5% vs. 60.5%; p < .001). More students in the intervention than control group agreed that smoking was a chronic disease (83.1% vs. 68.1%; p = .045). The control group was more likely to report recording smoking status (p = .018), but no group difference was detected regarding the report of advising to quit (p = .154). Conclusions: A novel teaching module for undergraduate medical students produced a sustained learning outcome in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes but not self-reported practice. Implications: Studies across the world have identified considerable knowledge gaps and deficits in practical training with regard to smoking cessation counseling in undergraduate medical students. This paper describes a teaching intervention informed by current recommendations for the design of educational activities aimed at enabling medical students to deliver adequate behavior change counseling. The teaching module was tailored to the needs of a specific healthcare system. Given its effectiveness as demonstrated in this prospective study, a rollout of this intervention in medical schools might have the potential to substantially improve medical students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in relation to smoking cessation counseling.

Type: Article
Title: Structured Smoking Cessation Training for Medical Students: a prospective study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntw191
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntw191
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503854
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