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Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation was designed to address an identified need to enhance the tobacco cessation education of health professionals. Rx for Change, which draws heavily from the Clinical Practice Guideline for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, is a comprehensive, turn-key program for training students and licensed clinicians in virtually any health professional field. Our teaching strategies are varied and include selected readings, lecture with animated PowerPoint slides, video (a welcome from the US Surgeon General, an introductory segment, counseling sessions, and trigger tapes), role playing with case scenarios, virtual patients, and standardized patients (with corresponding Objective Structured Clinical Examination tools). All materials have been externally reviewed and are updated continuously to reflect current science for the treatment of tobacco use and dependence.

Currently, we offer the following versions:

  • Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation (“5 A’s” approach)
    Our complete curriculum, including all core and optional modules, requires approximately 10 hours for implementation. These materials are applicable to any health profession. Our most common implementation scenario is 6 to 8 hours, which includes all core modules plus the Forms of Tobacco module. Slides are supplemented with ancillary handouts, role playing with case scenarios, and video segments. 6 hr minimum for core modules and role playing/videos.
  • Rx for Change: Ask-Advise-Refer (brief intervention)
    Ask patients about tobacco use, advise patients to quit, and refer patients to other resources for additional assistance - such as the toll-free tobacco quitline, local group programs, and internet-based programs. This approach is applicable to any profession, but is particularly relevant to assistants of clinicians, such as medical assistants, dental assistants, and pharmacy technicians, for whom implementation of the 5 A’s would be inappropriate. Lecture slides are supplemented with video counseling sessions modeling the Ask-Advise-Refer approach. Standard and dental versions available. 1.5 hrs each.

Tailored versions are available for:

  • Psychiatry (4 hrs)
  • Cardiology (1 hr)
  • Mental Health Peer Counselors (2 hrs)
  • Respiratory Care (4 hrs)
  • Surgical Care (1.5 hrs)

Structure and components of Rx for Change

  • PowerPoint slides: each slide is complete with instructor notes and current literature citations (for instructors’ use), or can be assigned as web-based modules
  • Case scenarios for role playing: a wide variety of cases for a variety of disciplines and practice settings
  • Video segments:
    • Welcome video featuring the US Surgeon General: 3 min
    • Introductory video: 7 min (provided by Frank Vitale, MA)
    • Counseling sessions: ranging from brief to comprehensive, modeling the 5A’s and the Ask-Advise-Refer approaches
    • Trigger tape vignettes: brief video clips for eliciting clinical problem-solving discussion
  • Ancillary handouts: a series of handouts, which are "tools" for use when assisting patients
  • A suite of tobacco-specific virtual patients
  • Standardized patients with Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) assessment tools

Who can use the Rx for Change materials?
Our goal is to improve both the quantity and the quality of tobacco cessation counseling that occurs in clinical practice. Toward this goal, we openly share our materials with others. However, all persons receiving any components of the program must register on this web site, which includes acceptance of our End-User Licensing agreement (EULA) prior to gaining access to the program materials. Rx for Change is a non-profit program and cannot be used, in any venue, for profit. Please refer to the End-User Licensing agreement (EULA) for more information about use of the Rx for Change program materials. If you have questions, please contact us at rxfc@ucsf.edu.

Development and dissemination of our materials over the years has been made possible by the National Cancer Institute, the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, and the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute. The Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California San Francisco, through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Truth Initiative, has assisted with development of several of the tailored versions as well as ongoing dissemination of the Rx for Change program.