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Am J Med Sci. 2003 Oct;326(4):242-7.

Healthcare provider training in tobacco treatment: building competency.

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  • 1Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.


One of the most effective disease prevention and health promotion strategies available is the treatment of tobacco dependence. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence provides a number of recommendations for interventions by health care systems and providers, including that treatment be reimbursed, identification of tobacco users be institutionalized, and all patients be offered brief treatment and have more intensive treatment available to them. Unfortunately, these recommended interventions have not been routinely implemented. As part of a comprehensive approach to improving implementation, provider training is needed. Three models for training healthcare providers in brief tobacco treatment intervention (medical education, professional education, and community-based education) are described, a model for training providers in intensive tobacco treatment interventions is presented, and a rationale for a national training and certification program is made.

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