Continuing education is essential to build capacity among health care providers (HCPs) to treat people with tobacco addiction. Online, interprofessional training programs are valuable; however, interpretation and comparison of outcomes remain challenging because of inconsistent use of evaluation frameworks. In this study, we used level 5 of Moore's evaluation framework to examine whether an online training program in intensive tobacco cessation counseling achieved sustained performance change among HCPs across multiple health disciplines.
The evaluation sample included 62 HCPs with direct clinical duties, who completed the online Training Enhancement in Applied Counseling and Health (TEACH) Core Course in 2015 and 2016. We compared self-reported changes in cessation counseling and clinical practices across eight core competencies from baseline to 6-month follow-up using McNemar's tests and descriptive analyses.
Compared with baseline, significantly more HCPs reported providing cessation counseling at 6-month follow-up (44% versus 81%, P < .001). HCPs also reported significant increases in engagement in six of the eight core competencies.
Online training in intensive tobacco cessation treatment can result in sustained performance improvement at 6 months. However, availability of resources and clinical context may influence the extent to which HCPs are able to implement their learned skills. Furthermore, continuing education programs should consider the use of consistent evaluation frameworks to promote cross program comparisons.