Turpanjian School of Public Health Publishes Article on Perceived Barriers of Tobacco Dependence Treatment in Armenia

The American University of Armenia (AUA) Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) recently published an article titled Perceived barriers of tobacco dependence treatment: a mixed-methods study among primary healthcare physicians in Armenia in the Journal of Primary Health Care Research & Development. This is an open access, peer-reviewed and internationally ranked academic journal aimed at bridging the gap between academic primary care and practice.

The article authored by Arusyak Harutyunyan (MPH’09), Armine Abrahamyan (MPH’15), Varduhi Hayrumyan (MPH’16), and SPH Dean Varduhi Petrosyan aimed to identify the perceived barriers that hinder primary healthcare physicians (PHPs) from providing smoking cessation treatment to patients in Armenia. The findings from the study have revealed three main categories of barriers: physician-based, patient-based, and system-based barriers. The main physician-based barriers include insufficient knowledge and inadequate training on tobacco-dependence treatment. The lack of patients’ motivation to quit, poor compliance with the treatment, and patients’ withdrawal symptoms were identified as patient-based disincentives. System-based barriers included the lack of reimbursement for smoking cessation counselling, as well as the high price and low availability of smoking cessation medications. Most of the qualitative descriptions were confirmed by the findings from quantitative analysis.

This study highlighted the importance and the need to enhance PHPs’ knowledge and skills in delivering smoking cessation counselling, to increase patients’ demand for and compliance with smoking cessation services through educational programs and public awareness campaigns, and to ensure availability and affordability of smoking cessation services in Armenia.

The paper was based on the results of the “Implementing the FCTC Article 14 in Armenia through building national capacity in smoking cessation training” project supported by Global Bridges Healthcare Alliance for Tobacco Dependence Treatment and Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change.

The full article can be accessed here.

The AUA Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region 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.