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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Many communities offer multiple types of smoking cessation treatments. Smokers may be confused about which ones to use. Providers may be confused about when to treat and when to refer. This study tested a simple triage tool to help match smokers to appropriate treatment.
Methods: Motivated adult smokers in PEI, Canada were recruited through telemarketing and assigned randomly to receive either a list of all cessation treatments in the region (self selection condition), or a recommendation to use a specific treatment (self help booklet, brief telephone counseling, brief telephone counseling plus 4 weeks of NRT, 4 sessions of face to face counseling plus 4 weeks of NRT) as determined by simple triage tool (triage condition). Abstinence, treatment utilization, and user satisfaction were assessed by telephone 7 months after enrolment.
Results: 1486 participants were similar across treatment conditions (53% female; 48% >age 44; mean of 19 cpd). 82% completed the 7 month follow-up. Within the triage condition, 19%, 12%, 56% and 13 % of smokers were assigned to receive self help, brief counseling, brief counseling + NRT, intense counseling + NRT respectively. Quit rates and user satisfaction did not differ across conditions. However, self referral resulted in use of more intense treatments, and ineffective/alternative treatments (e.g., hypnosis, laser), all of which increased the cost per quitter.
Implications: Use of a simple, 8 item tool to triage smokers into treatment has the potential to improve the cost effectiveness of treatment without reducing overall effectiveness or user satisfaction.