Arusyak Harutyunyan Co-Authors Articles on Tobacco Control

The American University of Armenia (AUA) is proud to share that Dr. Arusyak Harutyunyan (MPH ’09) has co-authored two articles recently published in the journal of Tobacco Cessation and Prevention and the journal of Tobacco Induced Diseases. Dr. Harutyunyan is senior researcher at the Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) and research assistant professor at the AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH).

Both articles are based on EPACTT-Plus (EuroPean Accreditation Curriculum on Tobacco Treatment-Plus), a project of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention. Within the scope of the project, institutions from 15 European countries have collaborated to develop an accredited five-module Tobacco Treatment e-learning course. Overall, 444 healthcare professionals from the European Region completed the course from December 2018 to July 2019. The adapted and translated Armenian version of the e-learning course is freely available on the CHSR website.

The first study — “Current practices and perceived barriers to tobacco treatment delivery among healthcare professionals from 15 European countries. The EPACTT Plus project” — was published in Tobacco Cessation and Prevention, a peer-reviewed open-access journal. It explores the current practices of healthcare professionals in 15 European countries and their perceived barriers in delivering tobacco dependence treatment to smoker patients. The study results demonstrate that before completing the e-learning course around half of the healthcare providers would ask about their patients’ smoking status and advise them to quit. However, only about 30% of health professionals would offer their patients assistance in quitting. The main reported barriers in delivering tobacco dependence treatment were found to be lack of patients’ compliance followed by lack of interest by patients, lack of special training for healthcare professionals, insufficient patient referral resources, and little time for counseling patients on tobacco cessation issues in the daily schedule of healthcare professionals.

The second study — “Impact of the ENSP eLearning platform on improving knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy for treating tobacco dependence: An assessment across 15 European countries” — was published in the peer-reviewed journal of Tobacco Induced Diseases with an impact factor of 1.89. The study team utilized a pre-post design to assess the impact of the accredited e-learning course on knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy for treating tobacco dependence among 444 healthcare providers from the European Region. The results show that the course helped to increase the knowledge of participants and improved their attitude, self-efficacy, and intentions on the future provision of tobacco dependence treatment. After completing the course, healthcare professionals reported significantly higher intentions to address tobacco use in the future as a priority, document smoking history, offer support and counseling, develop a quit plan, provide written educational materials on tobacco to their patients, discuss pharmacotherapy for tobacco treatment, and provide follow-up counseling.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and beyond through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.