Impact of online smoking cessation training programs in Bolivia, Guatemala and Paraguay

The Gaceta Sanitaria Journal recently published an article that evaluated the impact of an online smoking cessation training program in Latin American countries. This research reflected the results of the Fruitful Project, funded by Global Bridges from 2014 to 2016. The project adapted an original course designed by the Catalan Institute of Oncology (in Barcelona) to the reality of three Latin American countries (Bolivia, Guatemala and Paraguay) and evaluated its impact.

The paper reports on the pre- and post-evaluation of the performance of the 5A’s strategy by hospital workers from the three involved organizations. Six months after the course, there was an increase in the performance of each of the components of the 5A’s [Ask (6.2 to 7.6); Advise (6.3 to 7.9); Assess (5.5 to 7.2); Assist (3.1 to 6.0); and Arrange a follow up (2.2 to 5.2); all p <0.001]. Doctors, former smokers and those from Paraguay obtained higher scores in each of the 5A’s components. In addition, the level of perception of the participants’ degree of preparedness, level of competence and familiarity with resources increased. In summary, the online training had a positive impact in the implementation of this brief intervention.

The research demonstrates that the online education in tobacco cessation is feasible and effective to improve tobacco cessation interventions in these countries.

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