The most effective method for quitting smoking combines pharmacotherapy with counseling from a health-care provider, yet few health professional degree programs adequately prepare their graduates for this role. In response to a national need for enhanced tobacco cessation training of health-care professionals, we developed the Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation program more than a decade ago. To facilitate programmatic efforts and ensure that health professional students achieve competency for tobacco cessation counseling, we propose to develop, evaluate, and disseminate tobacco-specific standardized patients/OSCE assessments as shared educational resources. All tools will be developed with input from medical, nursing, and pharmacy faculty, will have broad applicability, and will be disseminated in tandem with Rx for Change.
The specific aims of this R25 application are:
n AIM 1. To develop and pilot test a core set of curricular materials for promoting use of tobacco-specific standardized patients/OSCE assessments in health professional curricula: (a) three web-based virtual patients, (b) six standardized patient scenarios and associated OSCE scoring criteria, (c) a web-based, continuing education (CE)-accredited "OSCE tutorial" program to equip faculty/staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to integrate standardized patients and OSCE assessments into health professional curricula, and (d) a project web-site to house the curricular materials and to support teaching activities during and beyond the life of the grant.
n AIM 2. Using a one-group design, implement a pilot test of the Rx for Change program plus virtual patients and among medical students (n=140). Students will receive 4 hours of didactic training, 1 hour of role playing exercises, and 1 hour of practice with three virtual patients. Participants will complete (a) pre- and post-training surveys, (b) post-training standardized patients/OSCEs, and (c) a post-OSCE survey.
n AIM 3. Using the same one-group design as described in AIM 2, pilot test the curricular resources at six schools-2 medical, 2 nursing, 2 pharmacy (n=824 students, total). We hypothesize significant changes in knowledge, self-efficacy, and self-reported counseling abilities (pre vs post;p<0.05), corroborated with OSCE competency scores.
n AIM 4. Disseminate curricular resources to medical, nursing, and pharmacy schools throughout the U.S. This project, which brings together leaders in tobacco education, learning technology, and standardized patients/OSCEs, will develop and disseminate a tobacco-specific standardized patient/OSCE module with virtual patient learning tools that will be applicable to any health discipline. To reduce tobacco-related mortality, it is essential that all health professional students achieve competency for tobacco cessation counseling.
The most effective method for quitting smoking combines pharmacotherapy with counseling from a health-care provider, yet few health professional degree programs adequately prepare their graduates for this role. This project will develop a tobacco-specific standardized patient curriculum module with Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) assessments and virtual patient learning tools that will be applicable to any health discipline. These shared curricular resources, to be disseminated nationally, will enable health professional schools to advance competencies for tobacco cessation counseling.