Training family practice and internal medicine residents to counsel patients who smoke: improvement and retention of counseling skills

Mark E. Quirk, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Judith K. Ockene, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jean L. Kristeller
Robert J. Goldberg, University of Massachusetts Medical School
G. Donnelly
Terrence L. Amick
Kathryn L. Kalan

Document Type Article


This investigation builds on an earlier study by describing the final results of a training program that teaches internal medicine and family practice residents to counsel patients to stop smoking. In this study, 198 residents participated in a three-hour training program which included small group discussion and role-playing exercises. Videotaped observations of role-playing performances were used to assess behavioral outcomes related to counseling skills for 104 residents who completed pre-, immediate post-, and long-term follow-up testing. The present findings support previous results that show the training program has a significant positive effect on physician smoking cessation counseling skills. A subsample of residents continued to exhibit improved counseling skills one year after the initial educational interventions, suggesting that these skills can be retained over time.