Does it matter who you see to help you stop smoking? Short-term quit rates across specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners in England

National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT), University College London, London, UK.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 05/2012; 107(11):2029-36. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03935.x
Source: PubMed


A network of Stop Smoking Services has been set up within the National Health Service (NHS) in England. The services deliver a combination of behavioural support and medication. It is important to establish the degree of variability in quit rates attributable to differences between individual practitioners, to gauge the scope for improvement by training and professional support. The aim of the present analysis was to examine how far short-term quit rates depend on the practitioner delivering the intervention after adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Observational study using routinely collected data.
Thirty-one NHS Stop Smoking Services in England.
Data from 46 237 one-to-one treatment episodes (supported quit attempts) delivered by specialist practitioners.
Three-level logistic regression models were fitted for carbon monoxide (CO)-validated short-term (4-week) quit rates. Models adjusted for age, gender, exemption from prescription charges, medication and intervention setting for each treatment episode, number of clients for each practitioner and economic deprivation at the level of the Stop Smoking Service. Secondary analyses included (i) the Heaviness-of-Smoking Index (HSI) as predictor and (ii) 4-week quit rates whether or not confirmed by CO.
Differences between individual specialist practitioners explained 7.6% of the variance in CO-verified quit rates after adjusting for client demographics, intervention characteristics and practitioner and service variables (P < 0.001). HSI had little impact on this figure; in quits not necessarily validated by CO, practitioners explained less variance.
Individual stop smoking practitioners appear to differ to a significant degree in effectiveness. It is important to examine what underlies these differences in order to improve selection, training and professional development.

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    • "We aimed to compare the effect of one session face-to-face individual counseling plus follow-up telephone counseling with that of face-to-face counseling alone for Chinese male smokers in China Mainland. We also adjusted for the key potential confounders[15]so as to minimize the effect of confounding. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: No previous studies have investigated whether additional telephone follow-up counseling sessions after face-to-face counseling can increase quitting in China, and whether this strategy is feasible and effective for promoting smoking cessation is still unclear. Methods: A non-randomized controlled study was conducted in Beijing. We compared the quit rates of one group which received face-to-face counseling (FC) alone (one session of 40 min) to another group which received the same face-to-face counseling plus four follow-up sessions of brief telephone counseling (15-20 min each) at 1 week, 1, 3 and 6 month follow-up (FCF). No smoking cessation medication was provided. From October 2008 to August 2013, Chinese male smokers who sought treatment in a part-time regular smoking cessation clinic of a large general hospital in Beijing were invited to participate in the present study. Eligible male smokers (n = 547) were divided into two groups: FC (n = 149) and FCF (n = 398). Main outcomes were self-reported 7-day point prevalence and 6 month continuous quit rates at 12 month follow-up. Results: By intention to treat, at 12 month follow-up, the 7-day point prevalence and 6 month continuous quit rates of FC and FCF were 14.8 % and 26.4 %, and 10.7 % and 19.6 % respectively. The adjusted odds ratios (95 % confidence intervals) of quitting in FCF compared to FC was 2.34 (1.34-4.10) (P = 0.003) and 2.41 (1.28-4.52) (P = 0.006), respectively. Stepwise logistic regression showed that FCF, being married, unemployed and a lower Fagerström score were significant independent predictors of 6 month continuous quitting at 12 month follow-up. Conclusions: Using systematically collected data from real-world practice, our smoking cessation clinic has shown that the additional telephone follow-up counseling sessions doubled the quit rate.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    • "However, it has been argued that such manuals may not be currently used routinely in practice, as stop smoking practitioners operating under the same treatment manual have widely varying success rates (Brose, McEwen, and West 2012a). It has also been demonstrated that fidelity to treatment manuals is typically low in the services, with an average of approximately 50% of manual-specified content being routinely delivered in clinical practice (Lorencatto et al. 2014; Lorencatto et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Translating evidence-based behaviour change interventions into practice is aided by use of treatment manuals specifying the recommended content and format of interventions, and evidence-based training. This study examined whether outcomes of stop smoking behavioural support differed with practitioner's use and evaluation of treatment manuals, or practitioner's training. English stop smoking practitioners were invited to complete an online survey including questions on: practitioners' training, availability, use and perceived utility of manuals, and annual biochemically-validated success rates of quit attempts supported (practitioner-reported). Mean success rates were compared between practitioners with/without access to manuals, those using/not using manuals, perceived utility ratings of manuals, and consecutive levels of training completed. Success rates were higher if practitioners had a manual (Mean (SD) = 54.0 (24.0) versus 48.0 (25.3), t(838) = 2.48, p = 0.013; n = 840), used a manual (F(2,8237) = 4.78, p = 0.009, n = 840), perceived manuals as more useful (F(3,834) = 2.90, p = 0.034, n = 840), and had completed training (F(3,709) = 4.81, p = 0.002, n = 713). Differences were diminished when adjusting for professional and demographic characteristics and no longer reached statistical significance using a conventional alpha for perceived utility of manuals and training status (both p = 0.1). Practitioners' performance in supporting smokers to quit varied with availability and use of treatment manuals. Evidence was weaker for perceived utility of manuals and practitioners' evidence-based training. Ensuring practitioners have access to treatment manuals within their service, promoting manual use, and training practitioners to competently apply manuals is likely to contribute to higher success rates in clinical practice. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Behaviour Research and Therapy
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    • "Most of these services have a treatment manual providing standardized guidance for practitioners regarding the specific content to be delivered in different types of behavioural support sessions (i.e., pre-quit, quit-day and post-quit). However, there is evidence that different stop-smoking practitioners providing support in English Stop-Smoking Services and operating to the same treatment manual can have widely differing success rates [15]. This raises an important question as to how far behavioural support is delivered according to specification in treatment manuals, and whether practitioners are adhering to, or deviating from, manual-based treatment specifications. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Effectiveness of evidence-based behaviour change interventions is likely to be undermined by failure to deliver interventions as planned. Behavioural support for smoking cessation can be a highly cost-effective, life-saving intervention. However, in practice, outcomes are highly variable. Part of this may be due to variability in fidelity of intervention implementation. To date, there have been no published studies on this. The present study aimed to: evaluate a method for assessing fidelity of behavioural support; assess fidelity of delivery in two English Stop-Smoking Services; and compare the extent of fidelity according to session types, duration, individual practitioners, and component behaviour change techniques (BCTs). Methods Treatment manuals and transcripts of 34 audio-recorded behavioural support sessions were obtained from two Stop-Smoking Services and coded into component BCTs using a taxonomy of 43 BCTs. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using percentage agreement. Fidelity was assessed by examining the proportion of BCTs specified in the manuals that were delivered in individual sessions. This was assessed by session type (i.e., pre-quit, quit, post-quit), duration, individual practitioner, and BCT. Results Inter-coder reliability was high (87.1%). On average, 66% of manual-specified BCTs were delivered per session (SD 15.3, range: 35% to 90%). In Service 1, average fidelity was highest for post-quit sessions (69%) and lowest for pre-quit (58%). In Service 2, fidelity was highest for quit-day (81%) and lowest for post-quit sessions (56%). Session duration was not significantly correlated with fidelity. Individual practitioner fidelity ranged from 55% to 78%. Individual manual-specified BCTs were delivered on average 63% of the time (SD 28.5, range: 0 to 100%). Conclusions The extent to which smoking cessation behavioural support is delivered as specified in treatment manuals can be reliably assessed using transcripts of audiotaped sessions. This allows the investigation of the implementation of evidence-based practice in relation to smoking cessation, a first step in designing interventions to improve it. There are grounds for believing that fidelity in the English Stop-Smoking Services may be low and that routine monitoring is warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Implementation Science
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