Support Person Intervention to Promote Smoker Utilization of the QUITPLAN® Helpline

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Charlton 6-273, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 01/2009; 35(6 Suppl):S479-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.003
Source: PubMed


Effective cessation services are greatly underutilized by smokers. Only about 1.5% of smokers in Minnesota utilize the state-funded QUITPLAN Helpline. Substantial evidence exists on the role of social support in smoking cessation. In preparation for a large randomized trial, this study developed and piloted an intervention for an adult nonsmoking support person to motivate and encourage a smoker to call the QUITPLAN Helpline.
The support person intervention was developed based on Cohen's theory of social support. It consisted of written materials and three consecutive, weekly, 20-30 minute telephone sessions. Smoker calls to the QUITPLAN Helpline were documented by intake staff.
Participants were 30 support people (93% women, 97% Caucasian, mean age 49). High rates of treatment compliance were observed, with 28 (93%) completing all three telephone sessions. The intervention was ranked as somewhat or very helpful by 77% of the support people, and 97% would definitely or probably recommend the program. Five smokers linked to a support person called the QUITPLAN Helpline.
An intervention using natural support networks to promote smoker utilization of the QUITPLAN Helpline is both acceptable to a support person and feasible. A controlled randomized trial is under way to examine the efficacy of the intervention.

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    • "Understanding how social network members can assist quitters would be useful because the majority of adult smokers attempt to quit on their own (Larabie, 2005) because they do not have the inclination or time to participate in behavioral treatment programs (indeed quitlines reach only between 1% and 2% of smokers; North American Quitline Consortium, 2009). Social network members can influence smokers to seek professional help such as from quitlines (Muramoto, Wassum, Connolly, Matthews, & Floden, 2010; Patten et al., 2008), but network members are also themselves motivated to support smokers in their quit attempts in any way they can (Thomas et al., 2008), especially judging from the number of calls to quitlines by family members or friends of smokers (Zhu, Nguyen, Cummins, Wong, & Wightman, 2006). They are even willing to undergo training in order to better help family members or friends quit (Campbell, Mays, Yuan, & Muramoto, 2007). "
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