Tobacco management in the redesigned post-degree nursing academic curriculum at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy: Preliminary evaluation and results
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Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Polyclinic Umberto I Hospital-University, Rome, Italy
San Camillo Hospital, Rome, Italy
Sant’Andrea University Hospital, Rome, Italy
European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, Brussels, Belgium
Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A43
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Nurses have a significant role in public health, including being active in supporting smokers to quit. According to the ENSP guidelines, it is strongly recommended that health professionals have specific training on tobacco. Currently, nurse academic training in tobacco education is still lacking in Italy. For this reason, the post-degree nursing academic curriculum of Sapienza University of Rome was redesigned and tobacco management formally included to improve knowledge, training and performance about smoking.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the new course in tobacco management in terms of increasing the tobacco treatment interventions delivered by nurses.

The EPACTT-Plus questionnaire was administered to each student before the first lesson (T0) and before the exam (T1). The questionnaire investigated among other current practices in tobacco management: the 5As model. Responses were assessed as: ‘never’=1, ‘few times’=2, ‘half times’=3, ‘many times’=4, and ‘always’=5. Percentages, paired t-test and Wilcoxon were used to describe the sample and evaluate differences between T0 and T1.

A sample of 36 students filled in the questionnaire (83% females, 89% aged <39 years, 42% smokers). They work in public (66%), urban (89%) settings and 92% have not received previous training in smoking cessation. At T0 only 34% reported ‘many times/always’ to ask patients if they smoke, while at T1 that percentage was 74% (mean scores respectively at T0 and T1 were 2.77±1.46 and 3.78±1.10; p<0.001). About ‘Advice’ at T0, only 40% reported ‘many times/always’ to advice patients to quit, while at T1 that percentage was 64% (mean scores respectively at T0 and T1 were 3.11±1.49 and 3.78±1.04; p<0.01).

These preliminary results show that the inclusion of a formal dedicated course in tobacco management at least in the post-degree nursing academic curriculum is strongly recommended to empower nurses in delivering tobacco treatment interventions.

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