CHSR Trains Physicians from Marzes and Artsakh on Tobacco Dependence Treatment

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YEREVAN, Armenia – The Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) held a series of short trainings for physicians from Armenia’s marzes and the Republic of Artsakh on the basics of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment from June to October 2017, as part of their ongoing collaboration with the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR). The trainings were organized within the scope of FAR’s “Continuing medical education program for physicians working in the Republic of Armenia (RA) marzes and Artsakh” (CMEP). The CMEP was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing physicians working in remote areas with the opportunity to update their knowledge and skills, as well as establish and improve connections with leading specialists in Armenia.

Dr. Arusyak Harutyunyan, CHSR senior researcher, led the training sessions, which were held in the Republican Scientific Medical Library (RSML) and covered topics on tobacco epidemics, neurobiology of nicotine addiction, the role of healthcare professionals in smoking cessation, motivational interviewing, pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation, and relapse prevention. The film “30 seconds,” produced by the English National Center for Smoking Cessation and Training, was used during each training session to highlight the importance of delivering a brief intervention to smokers by healthcare providers. The CHSR used a pretest-posttest evaluation of the training to measure the level of the physicians’ knowledge improvement, which revealed that physicians’ knowledge score regarding tobacco dependence treatment almost doubled following the training. Overall, 32 physicians from RA marzes and Artsakh attended the trainings between June and October 2017.

Training materials were developed within the scope of the “Implementing WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 14 through Advocacy and Trainings” project supported by Global Bridges and Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change.

The AUA Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.