Training future pharmacists at a minority educational institution: evaluation of the Rx for change tobacco cessation training program.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.32). 03/2004; 13(3):477-81.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To estimate the impact of Rx for Change, an 8-h tobacco cessation training program on pharmacy students' perceived counseling skills, confidence for counseling, and future counseling of patients for tobacco cessation.
Unlinked, pre- and post-training surveys were administered to 142 pharmacy students enrolled at Texas Southern University, a primarily minority and historically black educational institution.
Post-training counseling abilities were significantly improved over pretraining values for each of the five key components of tobacco cessation counseling (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange), overall counseling abilities, and confidence for counseling (P < 0.001). Racial/ethnic differences in self-reported overall counseling was observed (P = 0.01). Ninety-one percent of participants believed that the training would increase the number of patients whom they counsel for cessation, and 95% believed that it would improve the quality of counseling that they provide. At least 95% of participants believed that the pharmacy profession should be more active in preventing patients from starting smoking and helping patients to stop smoking.
The Rx for Change program had a positive impact on perceived abilities and confidence for providing tobacco cessation counseling to patients. While it is important that all current and future health care providers receive specialized tobacco cessation training, it is particularly important for clinicians of racial/ethnic minority backgrounds, who are more likely to practice in geographic areas with a high density of population subgroups at an elevated risk for tobacco-related mortality. In particular, pharmacists, who are uniquely positioned within the community to provide care to all patients, including the medically underserved, must be equipped with the necessary skills to assist patients with quitting.

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