A Family Physician Smoking Cessation Program: An Evaluation of the Role of Follow-up Visits Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Our purpose in this randomized clinical trial was to compare a two-visit smoking cessation intervention by family physicians with the same intervention supplemented by additional follow-ups. Forty-one southern Ontario family physicians volunteered for the study and subsequently participated in a four-hour training program on smoking cessation techniques. Physicians advised patients who smoked and indicated an interest in attempting to quit with the help of their physician to stop smoking at the end of a regularly scheduled visit. Physicians instructed patients to make a specific appointment for an evaluation of their smoking habits. Six hundred forty-seven patients returned for that assessment and were than randomized into either the two-visit intervention group (with risk assessment, support, the setting of a cessation date, self-help literature, and a prescription for nicotine gum, where appropriate) or into the other intervention group (with the same maneuvers as well as the offer of four more supportive follow-up visits). We found no statistically significant difference in one-year, biochemically validated, sustained cessation rates between the group offered the long-term follow-up visits (12.5%) and the group given the brief intervention (10.2%). The 95% confidence interval on the difference between the groups was 2.8% in favor of the brief intervention group to 7.3% in favor of the group offered follow-up. The results do not support the value of long-term follow-up visits for smokers.

publication date

  • March 1992

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