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Clin Cardiol. 2011 Dec;34(12):738-43. doi: 10.1002/clc.20982. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Cardiology Rx for Change: improving clinical attention to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in cardiology.

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  • 1Center for Tobacco Control, Research, and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0984, USA.



Heart disease is the leading cause of tobacco-related death in smokers and of deaths due to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in nonsmokers. This study centers on the development and evaluation of an evidence-based model curriculum for improving clinical attention to tobacco use and SHS exposure in cardiology.


We hypothesized that the curriculum would be associated with improvements in clinician tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, confidence, and counseling behaviors from pre-to post-training and at the 3-month follow-up.


The 1-hour Cardiology Rx for Change curriculum was evaluated with 22 cardiology fellows and 77 medical residents with consistent training effects observed between the 2 groups.


Trainees' tobacco treatment knowledge increased significantly from pre- to post-training (t[81] = 6.51, P<0.001), and perceived barriers to providing cessation treatment decreased significantly (t[81] = -3.97, P<0.001). The changes, however, were not sustained at the 3-month follow-up, suggesting the need for booster training efforts. From pretraining to 3-month follow-up, the training was associated with significant sustained gains in clinician confidence for treating tobacco dependence (t[61] = 3.69, P = 0.001) and with improvements in clinicians assessing patients' readiness to quit smoking (from 61% to 79%, t[59] = 3.69,P<0.001) and providing assistance with quitting (from 47% to 59%, t[59] = 2.12, P = 0.038). Asking patients about tobacco use, advising cessation, and arranging follow-up also increased over time, but not significantly. All participants (100%) recommended the curriculum for dissemination to other training programs.


Available online via, Cardiology Rx for Change offers a packaged training tool for improving treatment of tobacco use and SHS exposure in cardiology care.

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