Community health workers (in Vietnam referred to as village health workers) have the potential to play a key role in expanding access to evidence-based tobacco use treatment. We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in community health centers in Vietnam that compared the effect of provider advice and cessation assistance (i.e. brief counseling and patient education materials) (BC) vs. BC + three sessions of in-person counseling delivered by a village health worker (BC+R) on providers’ and village health workers’ adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines. All village health workers and health care providers received training. This paper presents data on the effect of the intervention on village health workers’ adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines, including asking about tobacco use, advising smokers to quit, offering assistance and their attitude, norms, and self-efficacy related to tobacco use treatment. We examined changes in adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines before and 12 months after the intervention among 89 village health workers working in the 13 community health centers enrolled in the BC+R study condition. Village health workers’ adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines increased significantly. Village health workers were more likely to ask about tobacco use (3.4% at baseline, 32.6% at 12 months), offer advice to quit (4.5% to 48.3%) and offer assistance (1.1% to 38.2%). Perceived barriers to treating tobacco use decreased significantly. Self-efficacy and attitudes towards treating tobacco use improved significantly. Increased adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines was associated with positive attitudes towards their role in delivering tobacco use treatment and increasing awareness of the community health center smoke-free policy. The findings suggest that, with training and support systems, village health workers can extend their role to include smoking cessation services. This workforce could represent a sustainable resource for supporting smokers who wish to quit.
- tobacco cessation
- tobacco use treatment
- village health workers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health