The following is a summary of “Integrating Tobacco Treatment Into Oncology Care: Reach and Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Tobacco Treatment Across National Cancer Institute–Designated Cancer Centers,” published in the May 2023 issue of Oncology by Hohl, et al.
For a study, researchers investigated the relationship between contextual factors, including center characteristics, implementation strategies, and treatment approaches, and the reach and effectiveness of tobacco treatment programs (TTPs) integrated into routine cancer care at Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) centers.
A cross-sectional analysis using survey data from 28 C3I centers that reported tobacco treatment data between January and June 2021. The primary outcomes of interest were treatment reach, defined as the proportion of patients identified as current smokers who received at least one evidence-based tobacco treatment component (e.g., counseling and pharmacotherapy), and smoking cessation effectiveness, defined as the proportion of patients reporting 7-day point prevalence abstinence at a 6-month follow-up. Center-level differences in reach and effectiveness were examined based on center characteristics, implementation strategies, and tobacco treatment components.
Out of a total of 692,662 unique patients, 44,437 reported current smoking. Across the centers, the median rate of tobacco use screening was 96%. The median smoking prevalence was 7.4%, with a median reach of 15.4% and a median effectiveness of 18.4%. Higher reach was associated with higher smoking prevalence, the implementation of center-wide TTP, and a lower patient-to-tobacco treatment specialist ratio. Higher effectiveness was observed in centers serving a larger population and a population of patients who smoke, reporting higher smoking prevalence and offering electronic health record referrals through a closed-loop system.
Implementing comprehensive TTPs for both inpatients and outpatients, along with an increase in staff-to-patient ratios, may enhance the reach of TTPs. Allocating personnel with expertise in tobacco treatment and allocating resources to intensify tobacco treatment dosage may improve smoking cessation effectiveness.