Imparting training in these areas is an important part of the tobacco control agenda. The goal of this training is to build a team of competent healthcare professionals with skills to provide evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment in a variety of healthcare settings. The curriculum is based on core competencies, recommended by various internationally recognized training programs. These include the Mayo Nicotine Dependence Centre, the Association for Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD), and National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, UK. The findings are adapted to the local tobacco use patterns and behaviour of tobacco users based on the evidence gathered through above mentioned internationally recognized trainings, few tobacco treatment interventions across the country and mainly from the LifeFirst tobacco treatment service.
The training modules have been developed by the core project team of medical doctors and psychologists in collaboration with Health Communication Core, a department of the Dana Farber / Harvard Cancer Centre specializing in combining evidence-based practice with creative expertise.
LifeFirst training has been selected for the Global Bridges 2014 Tobacco Dependence Treatment Award under the Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC).
At LifeFirst, training is divided into three sets, based on the level of intervention:
Tobacco Treatment Counselor Training
Participants in this training are equipped with the knowledge and skills that would enable them to provide effective, evidence-based tobacco treatment interventions. To this end, participants are trained in all aspects of nicotine dependence treatment, including motivational interviewing, behaviour modification techniques and pharmacotherapy.
More than 600 healthcare professionals; mainly doctors, dentists, psychologists and counsellors have undergone this 2-day LifeFirst Level 2 training.
Brief Advice Training
Brief Advice is mainly delivered during the course of routine interaction, by a range of healthcare professionals, supervisors, teachers and community volunteers. These participants are not directly involved in tobacco treatment delivery, but act as primary points of contact for tobacco users. This training enables participants to interview individuals about their tobacco use and provide them with advice to overcome their dependence.
More than 3000 healthcare professionals – doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists, counsellors, medical social workers, dieticians, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc. have undergone this 1-day Level 1 training and are provising brief advice to their own patients in their respective settings.
Sensitisation programmes are carried out at hospitals, schools, workplaces and community groups. These programmes create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco by providing education, awareness of the existence of tobacco treatment services, and information detailing the benefits of quitting
An online training is being developed to cater to busy healthcare professionals. This will cover all aspects of the Level 1 training and enable the trainee to provide brief advice to their patients in their own practice.
It is an interactive training with a notional learning time of about 100 minutes.