Quarterly scientific journal

Intervention to assess and improve the knowledge and attitudes of health professionals in brief counseling for smoking cessation: The B.O.A.T program (Brief Opportunistic Advice Training Program for smoking cessation)

Konstantina Kokkini-Paschou , Marsinta Pappa , Zoi Sterioula


Smoking is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Health care professionals can contribute to controlling the epidemic of smoking by applying brief counseling for smoking cessation in clinical practice. Purpose: The program B.O.A.T was implemented to increase knowledge and enhance health professionals’ attitudes on the brief counseling for smoking cessation. The purpose of the intervention was to enforce participants' intention to implement counseling. Material and Method: The research project was a pretest-posttest equivalent groups design. The sample consisted of 33 health professionals of various specialties. The intervention consisted of a two-hour training course and distribution of printed material. Attitudes, subjective norm, perceived control and intention of health professionals were measured, regarding the counseling in smoking cessation. Results: Statistical analysis showed an increase of perceived control in the experimental group (p = 0.031) and increase of its intention to implement smoking cessation counseling compared to the comparison group (p = 0.003). There was no difference between and within groups before and after the intervention for the variables of attitudes and subjective norm. The evaluation also showed an increase of knowledge in the experimental group. Conclusion: This study reinforces the current literature which supports that training health professionals on smoking cessation counseling can be effective. The theoretical background turns out to be important. In the future more time and resources should be invested to increase effectiveness and efficiency of such programs.

Keywords: Smoking, counseling, health professionals, theory of Planned Behavior

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