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California pharm-assists for smoking cessation

Institution: SRI International
Investigator(s): Karen Hudmon, Dr.P.H., R.P.H., M.S. Marilyn Shreve, R.Ph.
Award Cycle: 1999 (Cycle 8) Grant #: 8BT-2301 Award: $124,689
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: Pilot CARA
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
If California’s 21,079 licensed pharmacists are willing and able to take an active role in helping their patients quit smoking, it can have a tremendous public health impact. Research studies consistently show that pharmacists are effective in helping patients to quit smoking. However, pharmacists can provide counseling more often than they do. In this project, we seek to determine whether equipping California pharmacists with specialized skills for smoking cessation counseling will lead to higher counseling rates and improved quality and effectiveness of the counseling sessions.

In this pilot project, we will lay the groundwork necessary to launch a pharmacy-based tobacco control campaign: “California Pharm-Assists for Smoking Cessation.” The main goal of the project is to recruit, train, and motivate California pharmacists to help their patients quit smoking. These goals will be achieved through a collaborative effort of SRI International, representatives from state and local pharmacy associations and health organizations, the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) School of Pharmacy, and California pharmacists.

The aims of the pilot project are: Aim 1. To develop a partnership between tobacco researchers and the pharmacy community. Aim 2. To develop a Project Advisory Board, composed of representatives from pharmacy associations and health organizations, to lend support, direction, and strength to the proposed effort. Aim 3. To develop a detailed, feasible plan for evaluating the effects of a smoking cessation counseling education effort for pharmacists. Aim 4. To refine our study questions, test our recruitment strategies and training methods among 30-40 pharmacists in the South San Francisco Bay Area, and develop ways to evaluate the effects of the pharmacist smoking cessation training programs.

During this pilot study, we will develop and strengthen partnerships between the pharmacy community and tobacco researchers and test our research plan, in anticipation of submitting a proposal for a larger study in January 2000. In the larger study, we propose to implement and evaluate the effects of pharmacists’ training in one rural and one urban California community. If the training program is effective (i.e., if the programs are well accepted by pharmacists and if we see increases in the frequency and quality of smoking cessation counseling by pharmacists), we will propose to implement the program in other counties across the State. We believe that by combining the efforts of tobacco researchers and pharmacy representatives, we will increase the rate at which both the public and pharmacists come to envision members of the pharmacy profession as active tobacco control advocates.

Final Report
If California's 21,079 licensed pharmacists are willing and able to take an active role in helping their patients quit smoking, it can have a tremendous public health impact. Research studies consistently show that pharmacists are effective in helping patients to quit smoking, yet few pharmacists have received formal training for providing tobacco cessation counseling.

The main goal of the project is to assess the extent to which it is possible to recruit, train, and motivate California pharmacists to help their patients quit smoking. These goals were achieved through a collaborative effort of SRI International, representatives from state and local pharmacy associations and health organizations, the four California schools of pharmacy, and California pharmacists.

Specifically, the aims of the pilot project were: Aim 1. To develop a partnership between tobacco researchers and the pharmacy community.

Aim 2. To develop a Project Advisory Board, composed of representatives from pharmacy associations and health organizations, to lend support, direction, and strength to the proposed effort.

Aim 3. To develop a detailed, feasible plan for evaluating the effects of a smoking cessation counseling education effort for pharmacists.

Aim 4. To refine our study questions, test our recruitment strategies and training methods among 30-40 pharmacists in the South San Francisco Bay Area, and develop ways to evaluate the effects of the pharmacist smoking cessation training programs.

Aim 5. To implement and evaluate the effects of a comprehensive tobacco cessation training program for California's doctor of pharmacy students.

During this pilot study, we developed and strengthen partnerships between the pharmacy community and tobacco researchers. Tobacco cessation training programs were implemented and evaluated, and we tested key components of our research plan, demonstrating feasibility of in preparation of submitting an application for a full CARA award (submitted in January 2000, not funded). In larger studies, we have proposed to (1) evaluate the effects of aligning family practice physicians with community pharmacists for a "team approach" to assisting patients with quitting and (2) disseminate our California-based tobacco cessation training program to all 81 schools of pharmacy, nationwide.
Publications

Reducing pulmonary disease: the pharmacist's role in smoking cessation
Periodical: Journal of Pharmacy Practice Index Medicus:
Authors: Hudmon KS, Corelli RL, Kroon LA, Shreve MS, Prokhorov AV ART
Yr: 14 Vol: 2 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 143-159