Building Tobacco Cessation Capacity in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands

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Tobacco control stakeholders in priority populations are searching for culturally appropriate cessation training models to strengthen cessation capacity and infrastructure. We adapted the University of Arizona model for Brief Tobacco Cessation Interventions training for Pacific Islanders and pilot-tested it in four Pacific Islands—Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands. All participants completed a posttraining knowledge assessment exam, pre- and posttraining confidence assessments, and a quality improvement evaluation. Of 70 participants, 65 (93%) completed the training. Forty-one (63%) passed the posttraining knowledge assessment exam at the first attempt; an additional 9 (14%) successfully passed on their second attempt, for a total pass rate of 77%. The pre- and posttraining confidence surveys demonstrated a statistically significant increase in confidence across all competency areas for delivering brief advice. The quality improvement survey revealed high acceptance and approval for the content and delivery of the locally adapted training model. As Pacific Island communities enact tobacco control policies, cessation demand is growing. The Guam cessation training model used culturally relevant data, materials, and training approaches and appeared effective in four different Pacific island countries. This underscores the importance of culturally competent adaptation of cessation training for priority populations such as Pacific Islanders.

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