Background: To achieve greater coverage of the elderly smoking population, the provider/client interface could be broadened to include other professional groups who work with the elderly. We evaluated the effectiveness of a 9-h smoking cessation counseling training program for social workers.
Methods: We recruited 177 social workers and used a preintervention/postintervention longitudinal design, analyzed by multilevel, multivariable modeling to adjust for between-subjects covariables and within-subjects correlation in repeated measurements at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after training.
Results: Overall, knowledge improved from a mean score of 6.70 ± 1.03 (± SD) at baseline to 7.35 ± 0.75 at 12 months (range, 0 to 8 correct responses), attitude from 2.84 ± 0.41 to 3.10 ± 0.48, and self-perceived competence from 2.49 ± 0.38 to 2.85 ± 0.36 (range, 1 to 4, where 4 is best). On multilevel modeling, three of the four “A”s (ask, advice, assist, arrange as per the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality framework) registered significant gains from baseline to 12 months overall, whereas “advice” did not show any appreciable change.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that our smoking cessation training program achieved sustained effectiveness in the first year after training in enhancing knowledge, positively shifting attitudes, boosting self-perceived competence, and increasing the self-reported frequency of practicing three of the four As in their routine interaction with elderly clients.