Effectiveness of a training course on smoking cessation knowledge and behavior for health profession students: the SISMA project


INTRODUCTION: University students are at risk of starting smoking or continuing and increasing the consumption of tobacco products. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of the training course, Sisma Project, about smoking in healthcare degree courses, in terms of knowledge and behavior.

METHODS: SISMA project is an intervention delivered to healthcare profession students about smoking, using a before-after design. It was an online optional course available on the eLearning platform Moodle 2 in a specific week during routine university lessons. The course was structured in four lessons of 60 minutes, with a final debate among experts and a test.

RESULTS: The participants were 365 students (28.5% males and 71.5% females) that at the beginning of the trial filled out an online questionnaire. Current smokers were 161 (44.1%) before the course and 142 (38.9%) after the course (p<0.001). Students gave an evaluation about the course: 42.7% assigned a very high score, 33.2% expressed positive rating about material, 12.6% liked contents, and 15.6% appreciate the organization structure of the course.

DISCUSSION: Given the central role health professionals play in patient care, students need to be trained in tobacco cessation techniques. Our results indicate that smoking behavior significantly changed after attending the course and students appreciated the contents and structure of the course.