E-learning for practice nurses cost-effective

Published on September 3rd 2019 –  Together with colleagues from Maastricht University, ACHC-researcher Eline Smit developed and tested an e-learning program that aimed to improve practice nurses’ sub-optimal adherence to evidence-based smoking cessation treatment guidelines. Idea was that improving practice nurses’ adherence to these guidelines would benefit the quality of smoking cessation care and potentially lead to higher smoking abstinence rates. Previously, the researchers concluded that this program is effective and now they conclude that it is cost-effective too.

In short, Eline and colleagues conducted several cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses to explore whether the e-learning program would be worth the monetary investment at both the level of the practice nurse and the smoking patient.

At practice nurse level, we demonstrated that the e-learning program was very cost-effective at improving their smoking cessation guideline adherence during counseling. At patient level (outcome: smoking abstinence), we only found a small likelihood of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility at 6-month follow-up and unfortunately this small effect was no longer visible at 12-month follow-up.

Nevertheless, as the e-learning was targeting practice nurses in the first place, we are happy to see that such a program could improve the quality of smoking cessation care in general practice in a cost-effective way.

The project this study was part of was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society. The full paper can be found here.