Aim: This paper is a report of a study conducted to examine the effects of a brief training in the treatment of tobacco use and dependence on the tobacco use intervention-related knowledge and attitudes of nurses.
Background: Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers and they have an extended reach into the population of tobacco users. Thus, increasing the number of nurses who deliver brief evidence-based interventions for tobacco use and dependence, such as that prescribed by the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline in the United States of America, is likely to expose more tobacco users to evidence-based treatments and lead to more successful quit attempts. Effective training is key to improving provider proficiency in delivering evidence-based interventions for tobacco use and dependence.
Method: A 1-hour didactic training was delivered to 359 nurses from 2006 to 2007, including 54 Advanced Practice Nurses, 250 Registered Nurses and 55 Licensed Practical Nurses. Pre- and post-training tests assessed attitudes, knowledge and behaviours. Paired samples t-tests were used to compare pre- and post-test results.
Results: Statistically significant increases on nearly all measures were achieved, with Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses realizing the largest gains.
Conclusion: Given the overwhelming impact of tobacco use on patients, all nurses should be provided with training in the delivery of brief, evidence-based interventions for tobacco use. As the most trusted healthcare provider group with an extended reach into the tobacco using population, nurses have a large potential impact on the prevalence of tobacco use.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.