Relationship between tobacco control policies and the delivery of smoking cessation services in nonprofit HMOs.
ABSTRACT This project examined tobacco policies and delivery of cessation services in nonprofit HMOs that collectively provide comprehensive medical care to more than 8 million members.
Three annual surveys with health plan managers showed that all of these health plans had written tobacco control guidelines that became more comprehensive over the span of this study. We also surveyed a random sample of 4207 current smokers who had attended a primary care visit in the past year (399-528 at each of nine health plans).
Of these smokers, 71% reported advice to quit, 56% were asked about their willingness to quit, 49% were provided some assistance in quitting (mostly self-help material or information about classes or counseling), and 9% were offered some kind of follow-up. Smokers receiving assistance in quitting reported higher satisfaction with their care.
In general, health plans with the most comprehensive policies also showed higher rates of implementing tobacco treatment programs in primary care. Compared with tobacco control efforts of a decade or more ago, considerable progress has been made. However, there is still room for improvement in the proportion of smokers who receive the most effective forms of assistance in quitting.
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ABSTRACT: Challenges to health care access in the US are forcing local policymakers and service delivery systems to find novel ways to address the shortage of primary care clinicians. The uninsured and underinsured face the greatest obstacles in accessing services. Geographic information systems mapping software was used to illustrate health disparities in Alachua County, FL; galvanize a community response; and direct reallocation of resources. The University of Florida Family Data Center created "hot spot" density maps of important health and social indicators to highlight the location of disparities at the neighborhood level. Maps were produced for Medicaid births, teen births, low birth weight, domestic violence incidents, child maltreatment reports, unexcused school absences, and juvenile justice referrals. Maps were widely shared with community partners, including local elected officials, law enforcement, educators, child welfare agencies, health care providers, and service organizations. This data sharing resulted in advocacy efforts to bring resources to the greatest-need neighborhoods in the county. Novel public-private partnerships were forged between the local library district, children and family service providers, and university administrators. Two major changes are detailed: a family resource center built in the neighborhood of greatest need and a mobile clinic staffed by physicians, nurses, physician assistants, health educators, and student and faculty volunteers. Density maps have several advantages. They require minimal explanation. Anyone familiar with local geographic features can quickly identify locations displaying health disparities. Personalizing health disparities by locating them geographically allows a community to translate data to action to improve health care access.The Permanente journal 01/2013; 17(1):4-9.
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ABSTRACT: Objective : Although tobacco cessation training is included in many health profession programs, it is not yet routinely incorporated into chiropractic education. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of incorporating a problem-based learning tobacco cessation activity into a lecture course for chiropractic students. Methods : Seventy-two students were assigned to participate in two 1-hour lectures on health promotion counseling and tobacco cessation followed by an experiential student-driven lab session using standardized patients at various stages of dependency and willingness to quit. The intervention was based on the transtheoretic model and the "5 A's" of counseling (ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange). Outcomes were assessed via (1) questionnaires completed by the standardized patients regarding the students' use of the 5A's, and (2) questionnaires completed by the students using a 5-point Likert scale of "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree" on the acceptability of this method of learning. Descriptive statistics were computed. Results : Sixty-eight students (94%) completed the activity, spending a median of 2.5 minutes with patients. Over 90% addressed 4 of the 5A's: 99% asked patients if they were smokers; 97% advised them to quit; 90% assessed if they were willing to quit; and 99% offered assistance in quitting. Only 79% arranged a follow-up visit. Overall, students expressed a positive response to the experience; 81% said it increased their confidence in being able to advise patients, and 77% felt it would be valuable for use in their future practice. Conclusion : This active learning exercise appeared to be a feasible way to introduce tobacco counseling into the curriculum.The Journal of chiropractic education 06/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Kaiser Permanente measures how often tobacco users are offered strategies to quit but not the success of such strategies. To compare tobacco abstinence rates for participants of the Kaiser Permanente Riverside (California) Medical Center's Freedom from Tobacco Class in 2008, before direct physician involvement, and in 2009, after direct physician involvement, and to compare other variables affecting these rates. In a retrospective study, participants were divided into two groups based on year of participation. Data were collected using electronic medical records and phone interviews. Tobacco use status between both groups at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the classes started and within groups by sex, number of classes attended, medication received, and class teacher. The 12-month abstinence rates were 27% in 2008 and 33% in 2009 (p = 0.3). The abstinence rate for men improved from 23% to 38% (2008 vs 2009; p = 0.05), whereas for women it was 30% vs 27% (p = 0.7). Abstinence rates decreased over time for the group as a whole (p < 0.001). Attendance of 6 or more classes was associated with higher abstinence rates. There was no significant impact on abstinence rates due to age, body mass index, class teacher, or medications used. Direct physician involvement improved men's but not women's abstinence rates among class participants. The relapse rate was significant over the first year after the class. Further research is needed to study the difference between sexes and the factors affecting relapse.The Permanente journal 01/2013; 17(2):4-11.