Effectiveness of an online knowledge training and assessment program for stop smoking practitioners

Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Jul;14(7):794-800. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr286. Epub 2012 Jan 16.


Introduction: In English National Health Service (NHS) stop smoking services, stop smoking practitioners (SSPs) provide behavioral support and medication to support smokers wanting to quit. This study aimed to evaluate an evidence-based national online knowledge training program for SSPs developed by the NHS Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT).

Methods: Knowledge required to deliver effective stop smoking interventions was assessed using 25 multiple-choice questions drawn randomly from a common larger pool at baseline and after use of the training program in 778 consecutive users. Change in knowledge and association of this change with time spent on the training were assessed. Baseline and change in knowledge of SSPs with different amounts of experience, prior training, and time dedicated to smoking cessation were compared.

Results: Knowledge improved from 64.4% correct to 77.7% (p < .001). Time spent on the training predicted improvement. Pretraining knowledge scores differed with experience, prior training, and time practicing. Training improved even the highest performing SSPs and minimized differences between groups.

Conclusions: Knowledge required to deliver effective stop smoking intervention is improved efficiently by using the NCSCT online training program for English smoking cessation practitioners. SSPs with all levels of prior knowledge benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Male
  • Online Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology