Since 2004, with the ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Uruguay has implemented a wide range of legal restrictions designed to reduce the devastating impacts of tobacco. This legal process generated an increase in demand for tobacco cessation treatment, which led to the need to train a large number of physicians. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are evolving constantly, creating new opportunities to make online education more interactive. The evolution of ICTs presents an opportunity to develop innovative continuing medical education (CME) experiences to meet the increasing demand for this topic.
A blended-learning course on tobacco cessation was developed and implemented, combining face-to-face and online activities. Educational strategy focused on (1) facilitating interaction among generalists and between generalists and experts, and (2) providing high impact CME incorporating multifaceted interventions with wiki-type collaborative construction of practical knowledge. Multiple-choice tests and commitments-to-change were used for evaluation.
Three hundred thirty-five health professionals participated in the course. Of these, 145 (43.3%) attended the on-site workshop, 216 (64.5%) participated in the online activities, and 109 (32.5%) completed both phases. Fifty of the 105 (47.6%) participants completing the pretest had a passing score, while 78.1% received a passing score on the final test (p < .001). Differences between mean pretest and posttest scores among those who completed both phases compared with those who only did the online phase were statistically significant (p = .003 and p = .009, respectively).
The need to train physicians on tobacco cessation skills can be addressed via ICTs and educational activities that include participant interaction.