Effectiveness of providing financial incentives to healthcare professionals for smoking cessation activities: Systematic review

Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.
Tobacco control (Impact Factor: 5.93). 11/2011; 22(1). DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050048
Source: PubMed


Objective Financial incentives are seen as one approach to encourage more systematic use of smoking cessation interventions by healthcare professionals. A systematic review was conducted to examine the evidence for this.
Methods Medline, Embase, PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science and sources of grey literature were used as data sources. Studies were included if they reported the effects of any financial incentive provided to healthcare professionals to undertake smoking cessation-related activities. Data extraction and quality assessment for each study were conducted by one reviewer and checked by a second. A total of 18 studies were identified, consisting of 3 randomised controlled trials and 15 observational studies. All scored in the mid range for quality. In all, 8 studies examined smoking cessation activities alone and 10 studied the UK's Quality and Outcomes Framework targeting quality measures for chronic disease management including smoking recording or cessation activities. Five non-Quality and Outcomes Framework studies examined the effects of financial incentives on individual doctors and three examined effects on groups of healthcare professionals based in clinics and general practices. Most studies showed improvements in recording smoking status and smoking cessation advice. Five studies examined the impact of financial incentives on quit rates and longer-term abstinence and these showed mixed results.
Conclusions Financial incentives appear to improve recording of smoking status, and increase the provision of cessation advice and referrals to stop smoking services. Currently there is not sufficient evidence to show that financial incentives lead to reductions in smoking rates.

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    • "In addition, funds assured for this activity are very limited whereas financial incentives are seen as an approach to encourage more systematic use of smoking cessation interventions by healthcare professionals [45]. Financial incentives appear to improve recording of smoking status, and increase the provision of cessation advice and referrals to stop smoking services [45]. The anti-nicotine intervention should be an essential component of the primary medical services contracted by the National Health Fund. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Expanding the information on determinants of smoking cessation is crucial for developing and implementing more effective tobacco control measures at the national as well as European levels. Data on smoking cessation and its social correlates among adults from middle-income countries of Central and Eastern Europe are still poorly reported in the literature. The aim of the study was to analyze the association of socio-demographic indicators with long term tobacco smoking cessation (quit smoking for at least one year prior to interview) among adults. Moreover, we evaluated motives for giving up smoking from former smokers. Methods Data on former as well as current smokers’ socio-demographic and smoking-related characteristics were derived from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). GATS is a cross-sectional, nationally representative household survey implemented in Poland between 2009 and 2010. GATS collected data on a representative sample of 7,840 individuals including 1,206 individuals who met the criteria of long-term smoking cessation and 2,233 current smokers. Smoking cessation rate was calculated as the number of former smokers divided by the number of ever smokers. Logistic regression analyses were used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the broad number of variables on successful cessation of smoking. Results Among females the quit rate was 30.4% compared to 37.9% in males (p < 0.01). Former smokers declared concerns about the health hazard of smoking (60.8%) and the high price of cigarettes (11.6%) as primary reasons for smoking cessation. Older age, high education attainment, awareness of smoking health consequences was associated with long-term quitting among both genders. Also employed males had over twice the probability of giving up smoking compared with unemployed, and being religious did not contribute to successful smoking cessation. Conclusion Results indicated that smoking cessation policies focused on younger age groups are vital for curbing tobacco epidemic in Poland and should become a public health main concern. There is also the need for interventions to raise awareness on smoking health risks and quitting benefits are crucial to increase cessation potential among adult smokers. Nevertheless further effort needs to be done to prevent smoking uptake.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background Smoking cessation interventions are underprovided in primary care. Financial incentives may help address this. However, few studies in the UK have examined their impact on disparities in the delivery of smoking cessation interventions.Methods Cross-sectional study using 2007 data from 29 general practices in Wandsworth, London, UK. We used logistic regression to examine associations between disease group [cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, depression or none of these diseases], ethnicity and smoking outcomes following the introduction of the Quality and Outcomes Framework in 2004.ResultsSignificantly, more CVD patients had smoking status ascertained compared with those with respiratory disease (89 versus 72%), but both groups received similar levels of cessation advice (93 and 89%). Patients with depression or none of the diseases were less likely to have smoking status ascertained (60% for both groups) or to receive advice (80 and 75%). Smoking prevalence was high, especially for patients with depression (44%). White British patients had higher rates of smoking than most ethnic groups, but black Caribbean men with depression had the highest smoking prevalence (62%).Conclusions Smoking rates remain high, particularly for white British and black Caribbean patients. Extending financial incentives to include recording of ethnicity and rewarding quit rates may further improve smoking cessation outcomes in primary care.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The NHS Health Check programme aims to improve prevention, early diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in England. High and equitable uptake is essential for the programme to effectively reduce the CVD burden. OBJECTIVES: Assessing the impact of a local financial incentive scheme on uptake and statin prescribing in the first 2 years of the programme. METHODS: Cross-sectional study using data from electronic medical records of general practices in Hammersmith and Fulham, London on all patients aged 40-74 years. We assessed uptake of complete Health Check, exclusion of patients from the programme (exception reporting) and statin prescriptions in patients confirmed with high CVD risk. RESULTS: The Health Check uptake was 32.7% in Year 1 and 20.0% in Year 2. Older patients had higher uptake of Health Check than younger (65- to 74-year-old patients: Year 1 adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.05 (1.67-2.52) & Year 2 AOR 2.79 (2.49-3.12) compared with 40- to 54-year-old patients). The percentage of confirmed high risk patients prescribed a statin was 17.7% before and 52.9% after the programme. There was a marked variation in Health Check uptake, exception reporting and statin prescribing between practices. CONCLUSIONS: Uptake of the Health Check was low in the first year in patients with estimated high risk despite financial incentives to general practices; although this matched the national required rate in second year. Further evaluations for cost and clinical effectiveness of the programme are needed to clarify whether this spending is appropriate, and to assess the impact of financial incentives on programme performance.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Family Practice
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