Outcome of a four-hour smoking cessation counselling workshop for medical students

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Abstract

Background: Lack of smoking cessation education in undergraduate medical training hinders healthcare professionals in providing adequate tobacco cessation counselling. We developed a comprehensive 4-h smoking cessation counselling course for medical students that is easy to incorporate in a medical school curriculum, and assessed its short-term outcome for knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Methods: Eighty-eight medical students (53f, 35 m) were educated by a doctoral student in five identical 4-h courses. A 45-min theoretical introduction was followed by patient-physician role-playing by student pairs. Knowledge, skills, and attitude were assessed before and 4 weeks after the course by questionnaires, and by blinded analysis of pre- and post-course videos of a five-minute standardized patient situation. Results: Knowledge: Before the course 10.6 (mean, SD: 2.7) questions out of 29 were answered correctly, and increased to 19.2 (3.6) after the course (p < 0.0005). Major features of the students' counselling skills improved. Significant and highly relevant attitude changes reflected increased motivation to counselling smokers. Conclusion: Implementing a four-hour smoking intervention workshop into a medical curriculum was highly effective in improving students' knowledge, skills and attitudes towards smoking counselling, as well as providing them with additional clinical competencies.

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Purkabiri, K., Steppacher, V., Bernardy, K., Karl, N., Vedder, V., Borgmann, M., … Hamacher, J. (2016). Outcome of a four-hour smoking cessation counselling workshop for medical students. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12971-016-0103-x

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