Effect of a smoking cessation educational intervention on knowledge and confidence of pharmacy students versus community leaders
Background: Training programs of various intensities and durations have been implemented to assist healthcare providers and students in leading smokers in a quit attempt. While some training programs have been developed to help community leaders provide these services, the focus for community leaders has been to assist with recruitment efforts.
Objective: The objective of this study was to compare knowledge and confidence of students and community members before and after a smoking cessation educational intervention.
Methods: After approval from the institutional review board, pharmacy students and community members were recruited for two-hour educational interventions. Topics covered included smoking health risks, benefits of quitting, behavioral, cognitive, and stress-management techniques, smoking cessation medications, and how to start a formal class. Pre- and post-intervention survey instruments were given to all participants with comparisons made via Student’s or Paired T-tests, as appropriate.
Results: Knowledge scores increased significantly (p<0.05) after the educational intervention for pharmacy students (n=30) and community members (n=8). Confidence scores increased significantly for pharmacy students (p<0.05), but not for community members. Pharmacy students had significantly greater knowledge score changes (53.7%, pre-intervention; 81.8%, post-intervention; p<0.05) versus community members (32.1%, pre-intervention; 50.1%, post-intervention; p<0.05). When comparing individual confidence questions, only scores evaluating the change in confidence for providing counseling were higher for students versus community members (2.13 vs. 1.8, respectively; p<0.05).
Conclusions: Pharmacy students and community leaders exhibited increased knowledge after a smoking cessation educational intervention, and pharmacy students had increased confidence scores. All confidence scores did not change significantly for community members. Developing coalitions between healthcare providers and community leaders, focusing on the roles of each, may be productive in initiating smoking cessation programs.
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