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Efficacy of a Smoking Cessation Program for Hospital Patients

Nancy A. Rigotti, MD; Julia H. Arnsten, MD, MPH; Kathleen M. McKool, RN, MSN; Kristen M. Wood-Reid; Richard C. Pasternak, MD; Daniel E. Singer, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(22):2653-2660. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440430135016.
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Background:  Hospitalization may be an opportune time to change smoking behavior because it requires smokers to abstain from tobacco at the same time that illness can motivate them to quit. A hospital-based intervention may promote smoking cessation after discharge.

Methods:  We tested the efficacy of a brief bedside smoking counseling program in a randomized controlled trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. The 650 adult smokers admitted to the medical and surgical services were randomly assigned to receive usual care or a hospital-based smoking intervention consisting of (1) a 15-minute bedside counseling session, (2) written self-help material, (3) a chart prompt reminding physicians to advise smoking cessation, and (4) up to 3 weekly counseling telephone calls after discharge. Smoking status was assessed 1 and 6 months after hospital discharge by self-report and validated at 6 months by measurement of saliva cotinine levels.

Results:  One month after discharge, more intervention than control patients were not smoking (28.9% vs 18.9%; P=.003). The effect persisted after multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for baseline group differences, length of stay, postdischarge smoking treatment, and hospital readmission (adjusted odds ratio, 2.19; 95% confidence interval, 1.34-3.57). At 6 months, the intervention and control groups did not differ in smoking cessation rate by self-report (17.3% vs 14.0%; P=.26) or biochemical validation (8.1% vs 8.7%; P=.72), although the program appeared to be effective among the 167 patients who had not previously tried to quit smoking (15.3% vs 3.7%;P=.01).

Conclusions:  A low-intensity, hospital-based smoking cessation program increased smoking cessation rates for 1 month after discharge but did not lead to long-term tobacco abstinence. A longer period of telephone contact after discharge might build on this initial success to produce permanent smoking cessation among hospitalized smokers.Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:2653-2660

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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