Evaluating tobacco cessation education huddles as a method of in-service education: a project proposal




Weston, Eleanor

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Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Canada. A growing body of literature supports the practice of consistently screening all patients for tobacco dependence, providing a brief intervention and offering Nicotine Replacement therapy (NRT) as a standard of care. Strong links have been documented between mental illness and tobacco dependence. For example, in the United States, there are a higher proportion of smokers among people with mental health symptoms than among the general population. Evidence shows that patients with mental health disorders are at greater risk for increased mortality and morbidity as a result of their tobacco dependence. Healthcare practitioners are well positioned to support patients in addressing this chronic relapsing dependence yet are reluctant to do so (Wye et al, 2010; Williams et al, 2009). Healthcare practitioners are presently working in an environment in which the context of scarcity impacts educational opportunities. For example, a scarcity of replacement staff creates decreased opportunities for staff members to attend educational workshops where knowledge transfer bridges the evidence to practice connection. The project comprises a detailed description of the Huddle curriculum, an implementation plan, and a proposed evaluation strategy to determine if Huddles: a) increase staff members knowledge of tobacco dependence and cessation, b) increase staff members comfort in engaging with patients about tobacco dependence and cessation, c) increase staff members comfort with advocating for and titrating NRT medication, and d) are an effective method to address staff members’ ongoing professional development learning needs while at the same time respecting organizational priorities of fiscal restraint and adequate workload coverage.



tobacco, education, in-service education, tobacco cessation, educational huddles