Mark W Vander Weg

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States

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Publications (82)214.56 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Improved understanding of temporal and regional trends may support safe and effective prescribing of opioids. Objective We describe national, regional, and facility-level trends and variations in opioid receipt between fiscal years (FY) 2004 and 2012. Design Observational cohort study using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative databases. Participants All patients receiving primary care within 137 VHA healthcare systems during a given study year and receiving medications from VHA one year before and during a given study year. Main Measures Prevalent and incident opioid receipt during each year of the study period. Key Results The overall prevalence of opioid receipt increased from 18.9 % of all veteran outpatients in FY2004 to 33.4 % in FY2012, a 76.7 % relative increase. In FY2012, women had higher rates of prevalent opioid receipt than men (42.4 % vs. 32.9 %), and the youngest veterans (18–34 years) had higher prevalent opioid receipt compared to the oldest veterans (≥80 years) (47.6 % vs. 17.9 %). All regions in the United States saw increased rates of prevalent opioid receipt during this time period. Prevalence rates varied widely by facility: in FY2012, the lowest-prescribing facility had a rate of 13.5 %, and the highest of 50.8 %. Annual incident opioid receipt increased from 8.8 % in FY2004 to 10.2 % in FY2011, with a decline to 9.8 % in FY2012. Incident prescribing increased at some facilities and decreased at others. Facilities with high prevalent prescribing tended to have flat or decreasing incident prescribing rates during the study time frame. Conclusions Rates of opioid receipt increased throughout the study time frame, with wide variation in prevalent and incident rates across geographical region, sex, and age groups. Prevalence and incidence rates reflect distinct prescribing practices. Areas with the highest prevalence tended to have lower increases in incident opioid receipt over the study period. This likely reflects facility-level variations in prescribing practices as well as baseline rates of prevalent use. Future work assessing opioid prescribing should employ methodologies to account for and interpret both prevalent and incident opioid receipt.
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 12/2014; · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Tana M. Luger, Jerry Suls, Mark W. Vander Weg
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Our objective was to use meta-analytic techniques to assess the strength of the overall relationship and role of potential moderators in the association between smoking and depression in adults. Methods Two popular health and social science databases (PubMed and PsycINFO) were systematically searched to identify studies which examined the association between adult smoking behavior and major depressive disorder (MDD) or depressive symptoms. A total of 85 relevant studies were selected for inclusion. Studies were analyzed using a linear mixed effects modeling package (“lme4” for R) and the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis program version 2. Results Multiple nested linear mixed-effects models were compared. The best fitting models were those that included only random study effects and smoking status. In cross-sectional studies, current smokers were more likely to be depressed than never smokers (OR = 1.50, CI = 1.39–1.60), and current smokers were more likely to be depressed than former smokers (OR = 1.76, CI = 1.48–2.09). The few available prospective studies, that used the requisite statistical adjustments, also showed smokers at baseline had greater odds of incident depression at follow-up than never smokers (OR = 1.62, CI = 1.10–2.40). Conclusions In cross-sectional studies, smoking was associated with a nearly two-fold increased risk of depression relative to both never smokers and former smokers. In the smaller set of prospective studies, the odds of subsequent depression were also higher for current than never smokers. Attesting to its robustness, the relationship between smoking and depression was exhibited across several moderators. Findings could help health care providers to more effectively anticipate co-occurring health issues of their patients. Several methodological recommendations for future research are offered.
    Addictive Behaviors 10/2014; 39(10):1418–1429. · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effects of cognitive speed of processing training (SOPT) on the development of additional Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) difficulties and the reduction of depressive symptoms in the Iowa Healthy and Active Minds Study (IHAMS).
    Journal of Aging and Health 09/2014; 27(2). · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Hand hygiene surveillance programs that rely on direct observations of healthcare worker activity may be limited by the Hawthorne effect. In addition, comparing compliance rates from period to period requires adequately sized samples of observations. We aimed to statistically determine whether the Hawthorne effect is stable over an observation period and statistically derive sample sizes of observations necessary to compare compliance rates. Design. Prospective multicenter cohort study. Setting. Five intensive care units and 6 medical/surgical wards in 3 geographically distinct acute care hospitals. Methods. Trained observers monitored hand hygiene compliance during routine care in fixed 1-hour periods, using a standardized collection tool. We estimated the impact of the Hawthorne effect using empirical fluctuation processes and F tests for structural change. Standard sample-size calculation methods were used to estimate how many hand hygiene opportunities are required to accurately measure hand hygiene across various levels of baseline and target compliance. Results. Exit hand hygiene compliance increased after 14 minutes of observation (from 56.2% to 60.5%; P < .001) and increased further after 50 minutes (from 60.5% to 66.0%; P < .001). Entry compliance increased after 38 minutes (from 40.4% to 43.4%; P = .005). Between 79 and 723 opportunities are required during each period, depending on baseline compliance rates (range, 35%-90%) and targeted improvement (5% or 10%). Conclusions. Limiting direct observation periods to approximately 15 minutes to minimize the Hawthorne effect and determining required number of hand hygiene opportunities observed per period on the basis of statistical power calculations would be expected to improve the validity of hand hygiene surveillance programs.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 09/2014; 35(9):1163-1168. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Visual reminders, such as point-of-use signs, are used to improve hand-hygiene (HH) compliance. To date, little attention has been given to the characteristics of signs associated with the greatest impact. Signs designed using language and concepts theoretically grounded in health behavior and communication theories have the potential to improve HH compliance. Methods: Four distinct point-of-use signs were designed using constructs in health behavior and communication theories: personal vs. patient susceptibility, gain vs. loss framing and social norms/appeal to professional role. A clinical trial of the 4 signs was embedded in a cluster-randomized trial (CRT). Two study questions were tested: 1) Do point-of-use signs improve HH overall? 2) Do certain messages on signs work better than others at improving HH? The CRT began in Mar 2011 in 11 wards and ICUs in three geographically distinct acute-care hospitals. In Feb 2012 the 4 signs were placed next to HH dispensers on 5 randomly chosen wards/ICUs. The remaining 6 control wards/ICUs did not have signs. HH compliance was determined by secret shopper direct observations of entry/exit compliance. Quasi-poisson mixed-effect models to account for within room correlation were used. Results: 13,221 HH opportunities were observed pre-intervention and 915 opportunities were observed in the intervention period. Baseline entry compliance was 38.8% in control and 34% on sign wards. Exit compliance was 56.4% in control and 52.5% on sign wards. Rooms with point-of-use signs had a non-significant 4.11% decrease in entry (p=0.71) and a non-significant 11.68% increase in exit (p=0.44) compliance. However, a sign with patient-focused and gain-framed language had the highest entry compliance 53% vs 29% for the other signs (p=0.042) and the highest exit compliance 79% vs 52% for the other signs (p=0.36). Conclusion: Overall, placement of point-of-use signs led to minimal improvement in HH compliance. However, a sign designed using a theoretically grounded approach with patient-focused and gain-framed language was associated with increased entry and exit compliance. Theoretically-guided HH interventions have the potential to improve HH.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 05/2014; 35(5):593-4. · 4.02 Impact Factor
  • M Bryant Howren, Mark W Vander Weg, Fredric D Wolinsky
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related cognitive decline is common and may affect memory, orientation, attention, abstract thinking and perception, which may lead to substantial difficulties and disabilities in everyday life. Much evidence suggests that computerized cognitive training interventions may mitigate decline by improving neuropsychological outcomes in older adults, but there is clearly a need for large-scale, methodologically rigorous comparative effectiveness trials in the area. This article underscores that need and reviews eight trials that met a set of predetermined criteria before highlighting two novel and complementary analytic methods - big data analytics and network meta-analysis - that may be used to facilitate decisions regarding which cognitive training programs should serve as candidate interventions for large comparative effectiveness trials.
    Journal of comparative effectiveness research. 03/2014; 3(2):145-54.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines blood pressure (BP) control after 6 months of an intensive pharmacist-managed intervention in a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial conducted at the Iowa City Veteran Affairs Health Care System and two community-based outreach clinics. Patients received the pharmacist intervention for the first 6 months. The study coordinator conducted a summative evaluation with 37 patients 18 to 24 months following the initial 6-month intervention period. BP was significantly reduced in diabetic patients following an intensive pharmacist intervention (-8.0/-4.0±14.4/9.1 mm Hg systolic/diastolic, P<.001 and P=.001, respectively). BP was reduced even more in nondiabetic patients (-14.0/-5.0±1.9/10.0 mm Hg, P<.001). Medication adherence significantly improved from baseline to 6 months (P=.017). BPs were significantly lower at 6 months following an intensive pharmacist intervention. Patients also expressed a high level of satisfaction with and preference for co-management of their hypertension, as well as other chronic diseases.
    Journal of Clinical Hypertension 02/2014; 16(2):133-40. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The US Public Health Service smoking cessation practice guideline specifically recommends that physicians and nurses strongly advise their patients who use tobacco to quit, but the best approach for attaining this goal in the emergency department (ED) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize emergency physicians' (EPs) and nurses' (ENs) perceptions of cessation counseling and to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of the 5 A's framework (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) in the ED. We conducted semi-structured, face-to-face interviews of 11 EPs and 19 ENs following a pre-post implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in two study EDs. We used purposeful sampling to target EPs and ENs with different attitudes toward cessation counseling, based on their responses to a written survey (Decisional Balance Questionnaire). Conventional content analysis was used to inductively characterize the issues raised by study participants and to construct a coding structure, which was then applied to study transcripts. The main findings of this study converged upon three overarching domains: 1) reactions to the intervention; 2) perceptions of patients' receptivity to cessation counseling; and 3) perspectives on ED cessation counseling and preventive care. ED staff expressed ambivalence toward the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines. Both ENs and EPs agreed that the delivery of smoking cessation counseling is important, but that it is not always practical in the ED on account of time constraints, the competing demands of acute care, and resistance from patients. Participants also called attention to the need for improved role clarity and teamwork when implementing the 5 A's in the ED. There are numerous challenges to the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the ED. ENs are generally willing to take the lead in offering brief cessation counseling, but their efforts need to be reinforced by EPs. ED systems need to address workflow, teamwork, and practice policies that facilitate prescription of smoking cessation medication, referral for cessation counseling, and follow-up in primary care. The results of this qualitative evaluation can be used to guide the design of future ED intervention studies.Trial registration: registration number NCT00756704.
    Addiction science & clinical practice 01/2014; 9(1):1.
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    ABSTRACT: Blood pressure exhibits circadian variability, and nighttime blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular (CV) events. Adults with hypertension who lack a nighttime dipping pattern are at particularly high risk. Several studies have found that bedtime dosing of antihypertensive agents reduces sleep blood pressure and improves the dipping pattern in nondippers. One small study and 2 substudies of diabetes and chronic kidney disease suggest that bedtime dosing of ≥1 antihypertensives significantly reduced CV events. A Cochrane review of 5 studies found no difference in adverse events between morning and evening dosing. However, several evaluations in ophthalmology have found that nocturnal arterial hypotension precipitated ocular vascular disorders such as ischemic optic neuropathy. Some authors have suggested that additional studies of nighttime dosing of antihypertensive agents that evaluate CV events need to be conducted. The authors describe a randomized controlled pragmatic trial that is being planned at the University of Iowa and Duke University. Patients with hypertension and other comorbid conditions will be randomized to either continue morning dosing of all antihypertensive agents or to switch their nondiuretic medications to bedtime dosing. Patients will be followed for 36 to 42 months. This study will determine whether nighttime dosing reduces CV risk when compared with traditional morning dosing of antihypertensive agents.
    Journal of Clinical Hypertension 12/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As chronic opioid therapy (COT) becomes more common, complexity of pain management in the inpatient setting increases; little is known about medical inpatients on COT. To determine the prevalence of COT among hospitalized patients and to compare outcomes among these patients relative to those not receiving COT. Observational study of inpatient and outpatient administrative data. All veterans with acute medical admissions to 129 Veterans Administration hospitals during fiscal years 2009 to 2011, residing in the community, and with outpatient pharmacy use. We defined COT as 90 or more days of opioids prescribed in the 6 months prior to hospitalization. Patient characteristics included demographic variables and major comorbidities. Outcomes included 30-day readmission and death during hospitalization or within 30 days, with associations ascertained using multivariable logistic regression. Of 122,794 hospitalized veterans, 31,802 (25.9%) received COT. These patients differed from comparators in age, sex, race, residence, and presence of chronic noncancer pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, complicated diabetes, cancer, and mental health diagnoses including post-traumatic stress disorder. After adjustment for demographic factors, comorbidities, and admission diagnosis, COT was associated with hospital readmission (odds ratio [OR]: 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10-1.20) and death (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.10-1.29). COT is common among medical inpatients. Patients on COT differ from patients without COT beyond dissimilarities in pain and cancer diagnoses. Occasional and chronic opioid use are associated with increased risk of hospital readmission, and COT is associated with increased risk of death. Additional research relating COT to hospitalization outcomes is warranted. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2013;. © 2013 Society of Hospital Medicine.
    Journal of Hospital Medicine 12/2013; 9(2). · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines baseline characteristics from a prospective, cluster-randomized trial in 32 primary care offices. Offices were first stratified by percentage of minorities and level of clinical pharmacy services and then randomized into 1 of 3 study groups. The only differences between randomized arms were for marital status (P=.03) and type of insurance coverage (P<.001). Blood pressures (BPs) were similar in Caucasians and minority patients, primarily blacks, who were hypertensive at baseline. On multivariate analyses, patients who were 65 years and older had higher systolic BP (152.4±14.3 mm Hg), but lower diastolic BP (77.3±11.8 mm Hg) compared with those younger than 65 years (147.4±15.0/88.6±10.6 mm Hg, P<.001 for both systolic and diastolic BP). Other factors significantly associated with higher systolic BP were a longer duration of hypertension (P=.04) and lower basal metabolic index (P=.011). Patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease had a lower systolic BP than those without these conditions (P<.0001). BP was similar across racial and socioeconomic groups for patients with uncontrolled hypertension in primary care, suggesting that patients with uncontrolled hypertension and an established primary care relationship likely have different reasons for poor BP control than other patient populations.
    Journal of Clinical Hypertension 06/2013; 15(6):404-12. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A minority of hospitalized smokers actually receives assistance in quitting during hospitalization or cessation counseling following discharge. This study aims to determine the impact of a guideline-based intervention on 1) nurses' delivery of the 5A's (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange follow-up) in hospitalized smokers, and 2) nurses' attitudes toward the intervention. METHODS: We conducted a pre-post guideline implementation trial involving 205 hospitalized smokers on the inpatient medicine units at one US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. The intervention included: 1) academic detailing of nurses on delivery of brief cessation counseling, 2) modification of the admission form to facilitate 5A's documentation, and 3) referral of motivated inpatients to receive proactive telephone counseling. Based on subject interviews, we calculated a nursing 5A's composite score for each patient (ranging from 0 to 9). We used linear regression with generalized estimating equations to compare the 5A's composite score (and logistic regression to compare individual A's) across periods. We compared 29 nurses' ratings of their self-efficacy and decisional balance ("pros" and "cons") with regard to cessation counseling before and after guideline implementation. Following implementation, we also interviewed a purposeful sample of nurses to assess their attitudes toward the intervention. RESULTS: Of 193 smokers who completed the pre-discharge interview, the mean nursing 5A's composite score was higher after guideline implementation (3.9 vs. 3.1, adjusted difference 1.0, 95 % CI 0.5-1.6). More patients were advised to quit (62 vs. 48 %, adjusted OR = 2.1, 95 % CI = 1.2-3.5) and were assisted in quitting (70 vs. 45 %, adjusted OR = 2.9, 95 % CI = 1.6-5.3) by a nurse during the post-implementation period. Nurses' attitudes toward cessation counseling improved following guideline implementation (35.3 vs. 32.7 on "pros" subscale, p = 0.01), without significant change on the "cons" subscale. CONCLUSIONS: A multifaceted intervention including academic detailing and adaptation of the nursing admission template is an effective strategy for improving nurses' delivery of brief cessation counseling in medical inpatients.
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 05/2013; · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related cognitive decline is common and may lead to substantial difficulties and disabilities in everyday life. We hypothesized that 10 hours of visual speed of processing training would prevent age-related declines and potentially improve cognitive processing speed. Within two age bands (50-64 and≥65) 681 patients were randomized to (a) three computerized visual speed of processing training arms (10 hours on-site, 14 hours on-site, or 10 hours at-home) or (b) an on-site attention control group using computerized crossword puzzles for 10 hours. The primary outcome was the Useful Field of View (UFOV) test, and the secondary outcomes were the Trail Making (Trails) A and B Tests, Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Stroop Color and Word Tests, Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), and the Digit Vigilance Test (DVT), which were assessed at baseline and at one year. 620 participants (91%) completed the study and were included in the analyses. Linear mixed models were used with Blom rank transformations within age bands. All intervention groups had (p<0.05) small to medium standardized effect size improvements on UFOV (Cohen's d = -0.322 to -0.579, depending on intervention arm), Trails A (d = -0.204 to -0.265), Trails B (d = -0.225 to -0.320), SDMT (d = 0.263 to 0.351), and Stroop Word (d = 0.240 to 0.271). Converted to years of protection against age-related cognitive declines, these effects reflect 3.0 to 4.1 years on UFOV, 2.2 to 3.5 years on Trails A, 1.5 to 2.0 years on Trails B, 5.4 to 6.6 years on SDMT, and 2.3 to 2.7 years on Stroop Word. Visual speed of processing training delivered on-site or at-home to middle-aged or older adults using standard home computers resulted in stabilization or improvement in several cognitive function tests. Widespread implementation of this intervention is feasible. NCT-01165463.
    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e61624. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Studies have demonstrated that physician/pharmacist collaboration can improve management of chronic conditions. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a correlation exists between existing clinical pharmacy services within a practice-based research network (PBRN) and provider attitudes and beliefs regarding implementing a new pharmacy intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). METHODS: A validated survey was completed by one clinical pharmacist from each office. This instrument evaluated the current clinical pharmacy services provided in the medical office. TPB instruments were developed that measured beliefs concerning implementation of a clinical pharmacy intervention for either blood pressure or asthma. The pharmacy services and TPB surveys were then administered to physicians and pharmacists in 32 primary care offices throughout the United States. RESULTS: Physicians returned 321 (35.9%) surveys, while pharmacists returned 40 (75.5%). The Cronbach's alpha coefficients generally ranged from 0.65 to 0.98. TPB subscale scores were lower in offices rated with lower pharmacy service scores, but these differences were not statistically significant. There was no correlation between clinical pharmacy service score and providers' TPB subscale scores. In both the hypertension and asthma groups, pharmacists scores were significantly higher than physicians' scores on the attitudes subscale in the multivariate analysis (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists consistently scored higher than physicians on the TPB, indicating that they felt the hypertension or asthma intervention would be more straightforward for them to implement than did physicians. There was no significant correlation between clinical pharmacy service scores and attitudes toward implementing a future physician/pharmacist collaborative intervention using the TPB. Future studies should investigate the ability of the TPB instrument to predict implementation of a similar intervention in offices of physicians never exposed to clinical pharmacy services.
    Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 03/2013; 9(6). · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Policies limiting exposure to cigarette smoke have been associated with reduced hospitalizations for heart attacks, but little is known about the impact of smoking bans on other health conditions and whether findings from individual communities generalize to other areas. We investigated the association between smoking bans targeting workplaces, restaurants, and bars passed throughout the United States during 1991-2008 and hospital admissions for smoking-related illnesses-acute myocardial infarction and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-among Medicare beneficiaries age sixty-five or older. Risk-adjusted hospital admission rates for acute myocardial infarction fell 20-21 percent thirty-six months following implementation of new restaurant, bar, and workplace smoking bans. Admission rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease fell 11 percent where workplace smoking bans were in place and 15 percent where bar smoking bans were present. By contrast, very little effect was found for hospitalization for gastrointestinal hemorrhage and hip fracture-two conditions largely unrelated to smoking and examined as points of comparison. These findings provide further support for the public health benefits of laws that limit exposure to tobacco smoke.
    Health Affairs 12/2012; 31(12):2699-707. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The focus on acute care, time pressure, and lack of resources hamper the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the emergency department (ED). The purpose of this study was to determine whether an emergency nurse- initiated intervention based on the 5A's (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) framework improves quit rates. METHODS: We conducted a pre-post implementation trial in 789 adult smokers who presented to two EDs in Iowa between August 13, 2008 and August 4, 2010. The intervention focused on improving delivery of the 5A's by ED nurses and physicians using academic detailing, charting/reminder tools, and group feedback. Performance of ED cessation counseling was measured using a 5A's composite score (ranging from 0 to 5). Smoking status was assessed by telephone interview at 3- and 6-month follow-up (with biochemical confirmation in those participants who reported abstinence at 6-month follow-up). RESULTS: Based on data from 650 smokers who completed the post-ED interview, there was a significant improvement in the mean 5A's composite score for emergency nurses during the intervention period at both hospitals combined (1.51 vs. 0.88, difference = 0.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.41, 0.85]). At 6-month follow-up, 7-day point prevalence abstinence (PPA) was 6.8 and 5.1% in intervention and preintervention periods, respectively (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% CI [0.99, 2.9]).Conclusions:It is feasible to improve the delivery of brief smoking cessation counseling by ED staff. The observed improvements in performance of cessation counseling, however, did not translate into statistically significant improvements in cessation rates. Further improvements in the effectiveness of ED cessation interventions are needed.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 11/2012; · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Self-persuasion-generating one's own arguments for engaging in a specific behavior-can be an effective strategy to promote health behavior change, yet the causal processes that explain why it is effective are not well-specified. We sought to elucidate specific causal components and a mediating process of self-persuasion in two health behavior domains: physical activity and smoking. Methods: In two experiments, participants were randomized to write or read arguments about regular exercise (Study 1: N = 76; college students) or smoking cessation (Study 2: N = 107; daily smokers). In Study 2, we also manipulated the argument content (matched vs. mismatched participants' own concerns about smoking) to isolate its effect from the effect of argument source (self vs. other). Study outcomes included participants' reports of argument ratings, attitudes, behavioral intentions (Studies 1 & 2), and cessation attempts at 1 month (Study 2). Results: In Study 1, self-generated arguments about exercise were evaluated more positively than other arguments (p = .01, d = .63), and this biased processing mediated the self-generated argument effect on attitudes toward exercise (β = .08, 95% CI = .01, .18). In Study 2, the findings suggested that biased processing occurs because self-generated argument content matches people's own health concerns and not because of the argument source (self vs. other). In addition, self-generated arguments indirectly led to greater behavior change intentions (Studies 1 & 2) and a greater likelihood of a smoking cessation attempt (Study 2). Conclusions: The findings elucidate a causal component and a mediating process that explain why self-persuasion and related behavior change interventions, such as motivational interviewing, are effective. Findings also suggest that self-generated arguments may be an efficient way to deliver message interventions aimed at changing health behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Health Psychology 10/2012; · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: Effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation has not been evaluated in low income countries, such as Syria, where it is expensive and not widely available. We evaluated whether nicotine patch boosts smoking cessation rates when used in conjunction with behavioral support in primary care clinics in Aleppo, Syria. DESIGN: Two arm, parallel group, randomized, placebo controlled, double-blinded multi-site trial. SETTING: Four primary care clinics in Aleppo, Syria. PARTICIPANTS: 269 adult primary care patients received behavioral cessation counseling from a trained primary care physician and were randomized to receive 6 weeks of treatment with nicotine vs. placebo patch. MEASUREMENTS: Primary endpoints were prolonged abstinence (no smoking after a 2 week grace period) at end of treatment and 6 and 12 months post-quit day, assessed by self-report and exhaled carbon monoxide levels of <10 ppm. FINDINGS: Treatment adherence was excellent and nicotine patch produced expected reductions in urges to smoke and withdrawal symptoms, but no treatment effect was observed. The proportion of patients in the nicotine and placebo groups with prolonged abstinence was 21.6% and 20.0%, respectively, at end of treatment, 13.4% and 14.1% at 6 months, and 12.7% and 11.9% at 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Nicotine patches may not be effective in helping smokers in low income countries to stop when given as an adjunct to behavioural support.
    Addiction 08/2012; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 30% of patients undergoing elective general surgery smoke cigarettes. The association between smoking status and hospital costs in general surgery patients is unknown. The objectives of this study were to compare total inpatient costs in current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers undergoing general surgical procedures in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals; and to determine whether the relationship between smoking and cost is mediated by postoperative complications. Patients undergoing general surgery during the period of October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006 were identified in the VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) data set. Inpatient costs were extracted from the VA Decision Support System (DSS). Relative surgical costs (incurred during index hospitalization and within 30 days of operation) for current and former smokers relative to never smokers, and possible mediators of the association between smoking status and cost were estimated using generalized linear regression models. Models were adjusted for preoperative and operative variables, accounting for clustering of costs at the hospital level. Of the 14,853 general surgical patients, 34% were current smokers, 39% were former smokers, and 27% were never smokers. After controlling for patient covariates, current smokers had significantly higher costs compared with never smokers: relative cost was 1.04 (95% Cl 1.00 to 1.07; p = 0.04); relative costs for former smokers did not differ significantly from those of never smokers: 1.02 (95% Cl 0.99 to 1.06; p = 0.14). The relationship between smoking and hospital costs for current smokers was partially mediated by postoperative respiratory complications. These findings complement emerging evidence recommending effective smoking cessation programs in general surgical patients and provide an estimate of the potential savings that could be accrued during the preoperative period.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 04/2012; 214(6):901-8.e1. · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The focus on acute care, time pressure, and lack of resources hamper the delivery of smoking cessation interventions in the emergency department (ED). The aim of this study was to 1) determine the effect of an emergency nurse-initiated intervention on delivery of smoking cessation counseling based on the 5As framework (ask-advise-assess-assist-arrange) and 2) assess ED nurses' and physicians' perceptions of smoking cessation counseling. The authors conducted a pre-post trial in 789 adult smokers (five or more cigarettes/day) who presented to two EDs. The intervention focused on improving delivery of the 5As by ED nurses and physicians and included face-to-face training and an online tutorial, use of a charting/reminder tool, fax referral of motivated smokers to the state tobacco quitline for proactive telephone counseling, and group feedback to ED staff. To assess ED performance of cessation counseling, a telephone interview of subjects was conducted shortly after the ED visit. Nurses' and physicians' self-efficacy, role satisfaction, and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling were assessed by survey. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the effect of the intervention on performance of the 5As, while adjusting for key covariates. Of 650 smokers who completed the post-ED interview, a greater proportion had been asked about smoking by an ED nurse (68% vs. 53%, adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3 to 2.9), assessed for willingness to quit (31% vs. 9%, adjusted OR= 4.9, 95% CI = 2.9 to 7.9), and assisted in quitting (23% vs. 6%, adjusted OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 2.7 to 9.5) and had arrangements for follow-up cessation counseling (7% vs. 1%, adjusted OR = 7.1, 95% CI = 2.3 to 21) during the intervention compared to the baseline period. A similar increase was observed for emergency physicians (EPs). ED nurses' self-efficacy and role satisfaction in cessation counseling significantly improved following the intervention; however, there was no change in "pros" and "cons" attitudes toward smoking cessation in either ED nurses or physicians. Emergency department nurses and physicians can effectively deliver smoking cessation counseling to smokers in a time-efficient manner. This trial also provides empirical support for expert recommendations that call for nursing staff to play a larger role in delivering public health interventions in the ED.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 04/2012; 19(4):409-20. · 2.20 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

790 Citations
214.56 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • University of Iowa
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Health Management and Policy
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Iowa City, Iowa, United States
    • Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies
      Alep, Aleppo, Syria
  • 2004–2006
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
  • 2005
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      Rochester, Michigan, United States
  • 2001–2004
    • The University of Memphis
      • Department of Psychology
      Memphis, Tennessee, United States