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A Different Approach to Delivering Smoking Cessation

A Different Approach to Delivering Smoking Cessation

Although the health benefits of smoking cessation are well documented, only about 6% of smokers successfully quit each year. Quitlines deliver highly effective telephone-based smoking cessation services, but this intervention reaches only 1% to 2% of smokers each year. “Most households in the United States have phones, making quitlines one of the few modalities with the potential to have broad enough reach to make a significant impact,” says Jennifer Irvin Vidrine, PhD. “Quitlines could serve a much larger smoking population, but they generally have not been well integrated or institutionalized within healthcare systems.” The formalization of partnerships with healthcare providers has been identified as a key strategy for increasing the impact of quitlines. Several national initiatives have been developed to facilitate the delivery of smoking cessation treatment in medical settings, most notably “Ask-Advise-Refer,” or AAR. “The AAR program was designed to help clinicians routinely assess smoking status among all patients,” explains Dr. Vidrine. “It’s also intended to help clinicians deliver brief advice to quit smoking and refer smokers to guideline-recommended cessation treatments. Unfortunately, referrals to quitlines are low, and most smokers passively referred to quitlines fail to call for assistance.” Testing a Quitline New Method with EHR Dr. Vidrine and colleagues conducted a group randomized trial designed to evaluate a new approach to disseminating quitline-delivered cessation treatment through a healthcare system partnership. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, evaluated Ask-Advise-Connect (AAC), an approach designed to address clinic- and patient-level barriers to linking smokers to treatment through the help of an automated connection system within electronic health records (EHRs). Click here for a video presentation released by JAMA Internal...
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