International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC)

The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) will engage nurses in the fight against tobacco and promote cancer prevention.

Need

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence linking smoking and cancer, smoking remains common in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Smoking accounts for one-fifth of all cancer-related deaths in Europe, with lung cancer the leading cause. Smoking-attributed cancer rates are significantly higher in CEE, especially in the Czech Republic and Poland. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking rates are highest in the world among European women.

Tobacco cessation education remains minimal where the focus still remains on the detrimental effects of smoking rather than building supporting effective interventions to patients who smoke. Nurses are uniquely positioned to do this work; however, there is a need to upgrade their skills to provide appropriate assistance and support to such patients.

Project

The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) received $350,000 over two years to create the Eastern European Nurses’ Center of Excellence for Tobacco Control.

Established within the Center for Treatment of Tobacco Dependence at the Charles University Hospital in Prague, the Center is building competencies of nurses in tobacco control skills, engaging them in tobacco control initiatives and creating awareness about tobacco cessation in the community. The Center is based in Prague, Czech Republic, and reaches nurses and communities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The project will use strategies gleaned from ISNCC’s two prior tobacco cessation programs in the Czech Republic and Poland, which were funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Bridging Cancer Care initiative. These strategies will be utilized to address the epidemic of tobacco use and resulting cancers by increasing access to tobacco dependence treatment and education.

The center will serve as a regional reference for engaging nurses in the fight against tobacco dependence and cancer prevention initiatives. Resources and online training will be accessible on a website and in-person training will be led by a nurse champion in each target country.

To ensure the project’s long-term sustainability, partnerships with other nursing and physician groups specializing in oncology in Central Eastern Europe will be sought, as will funding from European Union governmental and nongovernmental sources.

Project Leaders

Stella Bialous, stella@bialous.com and Linda Sarna, lsarna@sonnet.ucla.edu

Partners

The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care