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A survey of smoking cessation training within UK Pharmacy education

Hunter, Abby; Bobak, Alex; Anderson, Claire

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Abby Hunter

Alex Bobak


Introduction: Tobacco smoking is a significant public health problem, and remains the leading cause of preventable, premature death in the UK. In order to reduce the burden of smoking in the UK, all healthcare professionals should be able to advise and assist smokers to quit. Adequately trained pharmacists can play a key role in providing smoking cessation support and advice. The aim was to identify the extent of smoking cessation teaching and examination in UK pharmacy schools.

Methods: A short survey of smoking cessation was sent to each Programme Director for all UK pharmacy schools (n=29).

Results: The survey achieved a response rate of 72%. All schools dedicated time teaching smoking cessation interventions, with 76% spending more than three hours, and 90% examining students on some aspect of smoking cessation. All schools taught about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and the role of behavioural support. At least 90% of schools taught about the role of the stop smoking services; and opportunistic brief interventions, e.g. Very Brief Advice (VBA). Only 14% covered practical delivery in clinical settings.

Conclusions: UK pharmacy schools are teaching and examining students on a wide range of smoking cessation interventions, including VBA. However, there was a lack of training reported on the management of mental health patients who smoke, and practical skills training. All schools should do more to ensure they are providing practical skills training to enable students to be adequately prepared for delivering smoking cessation support to all smokers, including vulnerable populations.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 12, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Publication Date Jul 1, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 2, 2020
Journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Print ISSN 1877-1297
Electronic ISSN 1877-1300
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 7
Pages 696-701
Keywords Education; Pharmacy student; Curriculum; Assessment
Public URL
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