This final conference for the Internet-Based Tobacco Control Program, whose main aim was to launch the Czech Heart Association (CHA) also reviewed the challenges to tobacco control in the Czech Republic - and thus to the CHA.   A total of 45 health and tobacco control professionals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia participated in the two-day meeting.

The workshop was planned and conducted by facilitators from NIPH and IKEM with input from CECHE.  Conference working groups developed plans for tobacco control strategies in the Czech Republic aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking and preventing cardiovascular illnesses.  The working groups also took into consideration necessary legislation, fundraising resources, media liaison and campaigns to improve public education of the problem.  They prepared a press statement, which was released at the Ministry of Health immediately after the conference. In addition, they developed a priority agenda for CHA and attendant implementation strategies for the next year. These included conducting two workshops featuring: tobacco control legislation changes and regional symposium on disseminating tobacco control issues to the CEE countries.

Other goals included developing smoking cessation counseling software for cardiologists, creating a CHA website, producing 100,000 information leaflets, facilitating a roundtable comprising Czech pharmaceutical companies and fundraising.
Representatives from other CEE countries expressed a strong desire in extending various aspects of the tobacco control and communications program to their respective countries of Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. In addition, these CEE countries advocated establishing a network focused on basic health for the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

Evaluations of the conference using a quantitative survey indicated that it fully accomplished, indeed exceeded its objectives.  Participants assessed the conference as extremely helpful in reaching their goals, especially increasing their knowledge for professional work.  They found the conference sessions to be relevant, interesting and useful.  Their positive attitude scores and high rating of the overall conference highlight its success.


Participants evaluated the workshop as extremely helpful in reaching their personal goals.  They also would use the experience learnt "often."  Overall, participants rated the conference topics "interesting, relevant and useful."  Participants' overall attitude towards the program was a favorable 4.7 on 5-point scale and they gave high scores to the overall conference coordination, 4.9 out of 5.

High scores were seen in all the conference presentations and workshop activities. Specific findings are as follows (click the chart icon to see a chart):
1. The participants assessed the final conference workshop as extremely helpful in reaching their personal goals and rated it 4.8 on a 1-5 scale. The frequency of drawing on the experiences and information acquired in future professional work was "often" - 3.9 on a 1-5 scale.

2. Participants assessed the sessions and activities as "relevant" to "extremely relevant" (average 4.2 on a 1-5 scale) to their professional work. These ranged from more relevant scores of 4.8 for participating in the tobacco control program and 4.6 for knowing the tobacco control challenges in the Czech Republic to "relevant" scores of 3.9 for developing implementation strategies for the CHA and 4.0 for knowing the goals and aspirations of the CHA.

3. Relative to their professional work, participants found the conference sessions and activities "interesting" to "extremely interesting" - average 4.3 on 1-5 scale, as well as "useful" to "extremely useful," (average 4.2).

4. The experience of participating in the Internet-based Tobacco-Control Program was rated as both extremely interesting and useful (4.6 and 4.5 respectively while knowledge about the Czech tobacco control challenges was similarly appraised (4.7 and 4.6).

5. All the other conference workshop sessions and activities were highly rated for relevance, interest and usefulness. Extending the tobacco control program to other countries was considered extremely relevant (4.4), interesting (4.5) and useful (4.4). Similarly, understanding the tobacco control experiences in the CEE region proved to be relevant (4.1), interesting (4.2) and useful (4.1). The ratings also held for hearing about the tobacco control experiences from NGOs and other organizations around the globe - relevant (4.1), interesting (4.2) and useful (4.1).

1. The group rated the goals and aspirations of the Czech Heart Association (CHA) as relevant (4.0), interesting (4.3) and useful (3.9). These scores compared equivalently for developing CHA's agenda, developing CHA's implementation strategies and assessing its goals and strategies (mean ratings ranging from 4.3 to 3.9).

2. The participants had a highly overall favorable attitude about being in the program. The following dimensions -- "positive," "satisfied," "learned a lot" and "happy" -- averaged a 4.7 on a 1-5 scale. "Positive" was rated highest with 4.9. This was followed by "satisfied" (4.7), "happy" (4.6) and "learned a lot" (4.5).

3. The participants were extremely satisfied with the overall coordination of the program, rating this 4.9 on a 1-5 scale.

4. Overall, the participants were satisfied with the outcome of the workshop in view of the fact that their personal goals were met and that they would use the training they gained in their own professional work. They found all the conference sessions relevant, interesting and useful. Their positive attitude scores toward the conference point to its success. This is further reinforced by participants' high rating of the overall conference coordination.

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