Background: Access to smoking cessation treatment, and particularly dedicated stop smoking services, is limited in many countries. Digital tools could support healthcare professionals (HCPs) with limited training and resources to deliver evidence-based cessation treatment to their patients.
Overall goal: To develop, evaluate and disseminate the STAR (Smoking Treatment Advisory Resource) Programme – a novel internet-based platform acting as a support tool and expert system for data gathering, delivery of evidence-based treatment, networking, and training for HCPs offering cessation treatment.
Target population: The main target group are HCPs in Poland, with a particular focus on HCPs treating patients with tobacco-related diseases.
Methods: The project comprises three main phases. Phase 1 will be devoted to development of STAR, including consultations with HCPs and patients who smoke. Phase 2 will involve mixed-methods evaluation of STAR. Finally, during Phase 3 the STAR Programme will be refined based on results from Phase 2 and promoted among a wider community of HCPs and patients, and the results disseminated.
Assessment: Evaluation will involve quantitative assessments of changes in key indicators (e.g. practice, knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy) from baseline to immediate post-training and at 6 month follow-up; analysis of STAR usage data; as well as qualitative evaluation (e.g. before and after interviews with participating HCPs).
Expected outcomes: It is expected that the project will result in the development of an acceptable and sustainable Programme that will increase the number of HCPs delivering evidence-based cessation support. STAR will offer possibilities for further development, and adaptation for other settings and countries.