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Residents and medical students identified a lack of knowledge regarding Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) as a barrier to smoking cessation counselling. We hypothesized that a teaching session on NRT during an inpatient Internal Medicine rotation would increase learner comfort in prescribing these products.
Medical trainees on the Internal Medicine Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) attended a teaching session during week 4 of an 8-week rotation. Pharmacy records from the 8-week period were retrospectively analyzed to determine NRT prescribing behaviour.
Pre-intervention, 5.8% (13/225) of new admissions received a NRT prescription. Post-intervention, 17% (31/182) of new admissions received a NRT prescription. Using a Fisher’s exact test, the percentage of new admissions that received a prescription was significantly different (p<0.001) between the pre- and post-intervention time frames.
This data suggests that integrating education on NRT into CTU teaching can significantly alter prescribing behaviour and improve access to NRT for patients who need it.