Building capacity to support smoking cessation amongst Family Physicians in Romania: The Challenges of VBA in Primary Care Practice
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Family Medicine Solo Practice, RespiRo-Romanian Primary Care Respiratory Group, Bucharest, Romania
Education Co-ordinator, International Primary Care Respiratory Group, London, UK
Respiratory Lead Pharmacist Barnet CCG, International Primary Care Respiratory Group Treating Tobacco Dependence Trainer, London, UK
International Primary Care Respiratory Group, Aberdeen, UK
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Corresponding author
Catalina Panaitescu   

Family Medicine Solo Practice, RespiRo-Romanian Primary Care Respiratory Group, Bucharest, Romania
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A42
Romania has a population of 19.5 million. Smoking rates are 37% men and 16.7% women. According to the WHO, 77% of all deaths in 2008 were caused by diseases for which tobacco smoking is the main risk factor.1 Family Physicians (FPs) have regular and ongoing contact with their patients, therefore they have a unique opportunity to address smoking cessation (SC) efforts.The overall goal is to build capacity to support SC amongst FPs, aiming to improve the health outcomes of patients with tobacco dependence by increasing the number of quit attempts and successful quits.

Material and Methods:
Selection of 15-20 teachers in family medicine interested in SC; adapting and developing a teaching curriculum in accordance with the agreed content but suited to local needs: lack of specialized SC services 2 required Very Brief Advice PLUS (VBA+pharmacological treatment+behavioural support); supporting these teachers in delivering workshops to local FPs; offering to taught FPs a pattern of supporting system for monitoring smokers and SC attempts; adapting and developing a model of educational evaluation to monitor and report progress and outcomes.3

This is an ongoing project using a “cascade” approach. At the moment there are: 4 participants in the IPCRG international teachers’ workshop (1stlevel) and 32 participants in the in-country teaching other teachers (2ndlevel); the 3rdlevel has begun and will continue by August 2018. The estimated participant and beneficiary numbers are 250 FPs taught and 43,000 patients.

Building capacity to support SC amongst FPs in Romania using the standardisation of Ask and Advise methods, and adaptation of Act to the national context might increase quit attempts and the number of successful quits when delivered at primary care level.

The project is part of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group Teach the Teacher Programme “Capacity Building - Teaching the teachers of primary healthcare professionals to treat tobacco dependence” and founded by a Global Bridges grant.

World Health Organization, Ministry of Health Romania. Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Romania 2011. Available at:
Stop Fumat. Available at:
Guskey T.R., 2002, Evaluating Professional Development.
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