An Open Trial of Relapse Prevention Therapy for Smokers With Schizophrenia

Center for Addiction Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Journal of Dual Diagnosis (Impact Factor: 0.8). 02/2013; 9(1):87-93. DOI: 10.1080/15504263.2012.749559
Source: PubMed


Following successful smoking cessation, smokers with schizophrenia are vulnerable to relapse shortly after treatment discontinuation. Our objective was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a 12-month relapse prevention intervention in recently abstinent smokers with schizophrenia.
Adult outpatient smokers with schizophrenia received weekly cognitive behavioral therapy groups, bupropion slow release, transdermal nicotine patch, and nicotine gum or lozenge for three months. Subjects with seven-day point prevalence abstinence at month 3 received an additional 12 months (months 4-15) of therapy with bupropion, transdermal nicotine patch, and nicotine gum/lozenge in conjunction with relapse prevention-based cognitive behavioral therapy groups that were held weekly in month 4, biweekly in months 5-6, and monthly in months 7-15.
Seventeen of 41 participants (41.5%) attained biochemically verified self-report of seven-day point prevalence abstinence at the end of three months of treatment and entered relapse prevention treatment. There was an 81% attendance rate at relapse prevention groups. At the end of the 12-month relapse prevention phase (month 15 overall), 11 of 17 (64.7%) demonstrated biochemically verified seven-day point prevalence abstinence, and 10 of 17 (58.8%) reported four-week continuous abstinence. Almost one quarter of the sample (23.5%) demonstrated long-term prolonged abstinence through the end of the trial. There were no clinically detected cases of psychiatric symptom exacerbation. One participant, who was managed as an outpatient, self-reported psychiatric symptom exacerbation in the interim period between study visits.
Extended duration smoking cessation treatment is well-tolerated and may improve smoking outcomes for recently abstinent smokers with schizophrenia. Controlled trials are warranted.

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