A mixed-methods evaluation of the effectiveness of tailored smoking cessation training for healthcare practitioners who work with older people

Susan Kerr, Rosemary Whyte, Hazel Watson, Debbie Tolson, Angus K McFadyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Older people who smoke derive significant health benefits from stopping smoking in later life. Healthcare practitioners have an important role to play in raising the issue of smoking cessation with this client group; however, they often fail to do so.

AIM: To assess the effectiveness of smoking cessation training for healthcare practitioners who have regular contact with older adults.

METHODS: Mixed-methods were used to explore satisfaction with the training, the participants' learning and any resultant changes in behaviour. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using a two-group parallel design randomised controlled trial, followed by semistructured qualitative interviews. Participants (n = 57) were recruited from a cohort of community nurses and allied health professionals (e.g., occupational therapists) working in Scotland. The intervention was 1-day brief intervention smoking cessation training. Validated measures of knowledge, attitudes and practice, were used to assess learning and behaviour at baseline, 1 week and 3 months post training. Data were analysed using two-factor repeated measure analysis of variance, where the factors were "group" and "time." Qualitative data were gathered from members of the intervention group during semistructured interviews (n = 8) and were analysed thematically.

RESULTS/FINDINGS: Levels of satisfaction with the training were high. There was a statistically significant improvement in the knowledge and attitudes of the intervention group following the training, with a noticeable, but nonsignificant, improvement in practice. The qualitative findings demonstrate how the training impacted positively on practice.

CONCLUSIONS: Smoking cessation interventions in later life are important, as older smokers generally have long-term conditions caused or complicated by smoking. The delivery of brief smoking cessation interventions is known to be highly cost-effective; however, research demonstrates that practitioners often fail to raise the issue of smoking cessation with older adults. This study has demonstrated the effectiveness of a 1-day training course for practitioners. Further research is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-86
Number of pages10
JournalWorldviews on evidence-based nursing / Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Aged
  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychometrics
  • Scotland
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Staff Development


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