Background and Context:
In addition to cancer prevention, quitting tobacco improves cancer patients' treatment outcomes and survival, and reduces risk of developing recurring cancers. Despite the need, Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) suffers a shortage of tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) services. Article 14 of FCTC emphasizes training of healthcare professionals (HCPs) to expand TDT services1. Results from Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) and a 2007 survey of training programs indicate a shortage of TDT training in the region2,3.
Recognizing the shortage in TDT competence, curricula, and staff to teach, King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) -regional host for Global Bridges- embarked on training HCPs in EMR. Outcomes are assessed against Moore et al’s expanded CME assessment framework4.
KHCC developed an evidence-based curriculum that responds to regional needs. Workshops prepare trainees to value TDT as an integral component of tobacco control, practice TDT, and create a network of professionals to advocate for TDT-promoting policies.
Training methods combine teaching, interactive exercises, and case studies. A learning and competence assessment (pre-workshop and post-workshop tests) is utilized and a workshop evaluation is administered. Workshops are conducted in close coordination with in-country partners who provide CME accreditation.
Outcomes/What was learned:
Since 2011, KHCC has intercepted 1828 professionals from 19 countries, half of which trained through intensive 10- to 16-hour training workshops. Participants leave with improved knowledge (test scores rising from 53% pre-workshop to 74% post-workshop), and high levels of post-workshop confidence in offering counseling (79%) and prescribing medications (69%). Participants report workshops as valuable (score: 3.7/4) and content as practical (score: 3.4/4). Countries report intentions to develop a business case for deployment of TDT services, prioritize TDT within patient’s overall treatment plan, and use combination therapy. To-date, five clinics have been launched in Jordan, Dubai, and Oman, with plans underway in Morocco.