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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: Quitlines are an effective way to deliver tobacco cessation services, and have increased in North America exponentially in the last decade. Today, all Canadian and American residents have access to quitline services. The mission of the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) is to maximize access to, use of and effectiveness of quitlines; provide leadership and a unified voice to promote quitlines; and offer a forum to link those interested in quitline operations. One of its initial projects was to develop a standardized set of intake and follow-up items to facilitate comparisons between quitlines, enhance research opportunities, and identify mechanisms for measuring successes and improving services.
Methods: NAQC's Research and Evaluation working group convened in 2003 to develop the Minimum Data Set (MDS). Members included quitline funders, vendors, researchers and evaluators. Drawing on literature reviews, tobacco control expertise, and the experience of members, the working group developed and disseminated the MDS to quitlines in 2005. Technical assistance was provided for the implementation process. Initial research projects using MDS data are in process and will be discussed, as will adoption of the MDS by other groups.
Results: NAQC's commitment to open participation in the development of the MDS has increased support from key stakeholders. The provision of technical assistance allowed for feedback to NAQC leadership, and helped identify ways to address problems in the interim. Adoption of the MDS will provide new opportunities for research, and could lead to significant improvements in the ways quitlines serve people trying to quit.