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1.  A before-after implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in hospitalized veterans 
Background
Although most hospitalized smokers receive some form of cessation counseling during hospitalization, few receive outpatient cessation counseling and/or pharmacotherapy following discharge, which are key factors associated with long-term cessation. US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are challenged to find resources to implement and maintain the kind of high intensity cessation programs that have been shown to be effective in research studies. Few studies have applied the Chronic Care Model (CCM) to improve inpatient smoking cessation.
Specific objectives
The primary objective of this protocol is to determine the effect of a nurse-initiated intervention, which couples low-intensity inpatient counseling with sustained proactive telephone counseling, on smoking abstinence in hospitalized patients. Key secondary aims are to determine the impact of the intervention on staff nurses' attitudes toward providing smoking cessation counseling; to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in VA hospitals; and to determine the short-term cost-effectiveness of implementing the intervention.
Design
Pre-post study design in four VA hospitals
Participants
Hospitalized patients, aged 18 or older, who smoke at least one cigarette per day.
Intervention
The intervention will include: nurse training in delivery of bedside cessation counseling, electronic medical record tools (to streamline nursing assessment and documentation, to facilitate prescription of pharmacotherapy), computerized referral of motivated inpatients for proactive telephone counseling, and use of internal nursing facilitators to provide coaching to staff nurses practicing in non-critical care inpatient units.
Outcomes
The primary endpoint is seven-day point prevalence abstinence at six months following hospital admission and prolonged abstinence after a one-month grace period. To compare abstinence rates during the intervention and baseline periods, we will use random effects logistic regression models, which take the clustered nature of the data within nurses and hospitals into account. We will assess attitudes of staff nurses toward cessation counseling by questionnaire and will identify barriers and facilitators to implementation by using clinician focus groups. To determine the short-term incremental cost per quitter from the perspective of the VA health care system, we will calculate cessation-related costs incurred during the initial hospitalization and six-month follow-up period.
Trial number
NCT00816036
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-4-58
PMCID: PMC2753631  PMID: 19744339
2.  Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Tobacco smoking is the main risk factor for COPD. It is estimated that 50% of older smokers develop COPD and more than 80% of COPD-associated morbidity is attributed to tobacco smoking. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, 38.5% of Ontarians who smoke have COPD. In patients with a significant history of smoking, COPD is usually present with symptoms of progressive dyspnea (shortness of breath), cough, and sputum production. Patients with COPD who smoke have a particularly high level of nicotine dependence, and about 30.4% to 43% of patients with moderate to severe COPD continue to smoke. Despite the severe symptoms that COPD patients suffer, the majority of patients with COPD are unable to quit smoking on their own; each year only about 1% of smokers succeed in quitting on their own initiative.
Technology
Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. Smoking cessation can help to slow or halt the progression of COPD. Smoking cessation programs mainly target tobacco smoking, but may also encompass other substances that can be difficult to stop smoking due to the development of strong physical addictions or psychological dependencies resulting from their habitual use.
Smoking cessation strategies include both pharmacological and nonpharmacological (behavioural or psychosocial) approaches. The basic components of smoking cessation interventions include simple advice, written self-help materials, individual and group behavioural support, telephone quit lines, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and antidepressants. As nicotine addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that usually requires several attempts to overcome, cessation support is often tailored to individual needs, while recognizing that in general, the more intensive the support, the greater the chance of success. Success at quitting smoking decreases in relation to:
a lack of motivation to quit,
a history of smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 10 years,
a lack of social support, such as from family and friends, and
the presence of mental health disorders (such as depression).
Research Question
What are the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on June 24, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations (1950 to June Week 3 2010), EMBASE (1980 to 2010 Week 24), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination for studies published between 1950 and June 2010. A single reviewer reviewed the abstracts and obtained full-text articles for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Data were extracted using a standardized data abstraction form.
Inclusion Criteria
English-language, full reports from 1950 to week 3 of June, 2010;
either randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses, or non-RCTs with controls;
a proven diagnosis of COPD;
adult patients (≥ 18 years);
a smoking cessation intervention that comprised at least one of the treatment arms;
≥ 6 months’ abstinence as an outcome; and
patients followed for ≥ 6 months.
Exclusion Criteria
case reports
case series
Outcomes of Interest
≥ 6 months’ abstinence
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Nine RCTs were identified from the literature search. The sample sizes ranged from 74 to 5,887 participants. A total of 8,291 participants were included in the nine studies. The mean age of the patients in the studies ranged from 54 to 64 years. The majority of studies used the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) COPD staging criteria to stage the disease in study subjects. Studies included patients with mild COPD (2 studies), mild-moderate COPD (3 studies), moderate–severe COPD (1 study) and severe–very severe COPD (1 study). One study included persons at risk of COPD in addition to those with mild, moderate, or severe COPD, and 1 study did not define the stages of COPD. The individual quality of the studies was high. Smoking cessation interventions varied across studies and included counselling or pharmacotherapy or a combination of both. Two studies were delivered in a hospital setting, whereas the remaining 7 studies were delivered in an outpatient setting. All studies reported a usual care group or a placebo-controlled group (for the drug-only trials). The follow-up periods ranged from 6 months to 5 years. Due to excessive clinical heterogeneity in the interventions, studies were first grouped into categories of similar interventions; statistical pooling was subsequently performed, where appropriate. When possible, pooled estimates using relative risks for abstinence rates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The remaining studies were reported separately.
Abstinence Rates
Table ES1 provides a summary of the pooled estimates for abstinence, at longest follow-up, from the trials included in this review. It also shows the respective GRADE qualities of evidence.
Summary of Results*
Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; NRT, nicotine replacement therapy.
Statistically significant (P < 0.05).
One trial used in this comparison had 2 treatment arms each examining a different antidepressant.
Conclusions
Based on a moderate quality of evidence, compared with usual care, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving intensive counselling or a combination of intensive counselling and NRT.
Based on limited and moderate quality of evidence, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving NRT compared with placebo.
Based on a moderate quality of evidence, abstinence rates are significantly higher in COPD patients receiving the antidepressant bupropion compared to placebo.
PMCID: PMC3384371  PMID: 23074432
3.  Efficacy of confrontational counselling for smoking cessation in smokers with previously undiagnosed mild to moderate airflow limitation: study protocol of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:332.
Background
The use of spirometry for early detection of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is still an issue of debate, particularly because of a lack of convincing evidence that spirometry has an added positive effect on smoking cessation. We hypothesise that early detection of COPD and confrontation with spirometry for smoking cessation may be effective when applying an approach we have termed "confrontational counselling"; a patient-centred approach which involves specific communication skills and elements of cognitive therapy. An important aspect is to confront the smoker with his/her airflow limitation during the counselling sessions. The primary objective of this study is to test the efficacy of confrontational counselling in comparison to regular health education and promotion for smoking cessation delivered by specialized respiratory nurses in current smokers with previously undiagnosed mild to moderate airflow limitation.
Methods/Design
The study design is a randomized controlled trial comparing confrontational counselling delivered by a respiratory nurse combined with nortriptyline for smoking cessation (experimental group), health education and promotion delivered by a respiratory nurse combined with nortriptyline for smoking cessation (control group 1), and "care as usual" delivered by the GP (control group 2). Early detection of smokers with mild to moderate airflow limitation is achieved by means of a telephone interview in combination with spirometry. Due to a comparable baseline risk of airflow limitation and motivation to quit smoking, and because of the standardization of number, duration, and scheduling of counselling sessions between the experimental group and control group 1, the study enables to assess the "net" effect of confrontational counselling. The study has been ethically approved and registered.
Discussion
Ethical as well as methodological considerations of the study are discussed in this protocol. A significant and relevant effect of confrontational counselling would provide an argument in favour of early detection of current smokers with airflow limitation. Successful treatment of tobacco dependence in respiratory patients requires repeated intensive interventions. The results of this study may also show that respiratory nurses are able to deliver this treatment and that intensive smoking cessation counselling is more feasible.
Trial registration:
Netherlands Trial Register (ISRCTN 64481813).
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-332
PMCID: PMC2234415  PMID: 18005415
4.  The Emergency Department Action in Smoking Cessation (EDASC) Trial: Impact on Delivery of Smoking Cessation Counseling 
Academic Emergency Medicine  2012;19(4):409-420.
Objectives
The focus on acute care, time pressure, and lack of resources hamper the delivery of smoking cessation interventions in the emergency department (ED). The aim of this study was to 1) determine the effect of an emergency nurse-initiated intervention on delivery of smoking cessation counseling based on the 5As framework (ask-advise-assess-assist-arrange), and 2) assess ED nurses’ and physicians’ perceptions of smoking cessation counseling.
Methods
The authors conducted a pre-post trial in 789 adult smokers (five or more cigarettes/day) who presented to two EDs. The intervention focused on improving delivery of the 5As by ED nurses and physicians, and included face-to-face training and an online tutorial, use of a charting/reminder tool, fax referral of motivated smokers to the state tobacco quitline for proactive telephone counseling, and group feedback to ED staff. To assess ED performance of cessation counseling, a telephone interview of subjects was conducted shortly after the ED visit. Nurses’ and physicians’ self-efficacy, role satisfaction, and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling were assessed by survey. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the effect of the intervention on performance of the 5As, while adjusting for key covariates.
Results
Of 650 smokers who completed the post-ED interview, a greater proportion had been asked about smoking by an ED nurse (68% vs. 53%, adjusted OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.9), assessed for willingness to quit (31% vs. 9%, adjusted OR= 4.9, 95% CI = 2.9 to 7.9), assisted in quitting (23% vs. 6%, adjusted OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 2.7 to 9.5), and had arrangements for follow-up cessation counseling (7% vs. 1%, adjusted OR = 7.1, 95% CI = 2.3 to 21) during the intervention compared to the baseline period. A similar increase was observed for emergency physicians. ED nurses’ self-efficacy and role satisfaction in cessation counseling significantly improved following the intervention; however, there was no change in “pros” and “cons” attitudes toward smoking cessation in either ED nurses or physicians.
Conclusions
Emergency department nurses and physicians can effectively deliver smoking cessation counseling to smokers in a time-efficient manner. This trial also provides empirical support for expert recommendations that call for nursing staff to play a larger role in delivering public health interventions in the ED.
doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01331.x
PMCID: PMC3334343  PMID: 22506945
5.  Effectiveness of proactive telephone counselling for smoking cessation in parents: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:732.
Background
Smoking is the world's fourth most common risk factor for disease, the leading preventable cause of death, and it is associated with tremendous social costs. In the Netherlands, the smoking prevalence rate is high. A total of 27.7% of the population over age 15 years smokes. In addition to the direct advantages of smoking cessation for the smoker, parents who quit smoking may also decrease their children's risk of smoking initiation.
Methods/Design
A randomized controlled trial will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of proactive telephone counselling to increase smoking cessation rates among smoking parents. A total of 512 smoking parents will be proactively recruited through their children's primary schools and randomly assigned to either proactive telephone counselling or a control condition. Proactive telephone counselling will consist of up to seven counsellor-initiated telephone calls (based on cognitive-behavioural skill building and Motivational Interviewing), distributed over a period of three months. Three supplementary brochures will also be provided. In the control condition, parents will receive a standard brochure to aid smoking cessation. Assessments will take place at baseline, three months after start of the intervention (post-measurement), and twelve months after start of the intervention (follow-up measurement). Primary outcome measures will include sustained abstinence between post-measurement and follow-up measurement and 7-day point prevalence abstinence and 24-hours point prevalence abstinence at both post- and follow-up measurement. Several secondary outcome measures will also be included (e.g., smoking intensity, smoking policies at home). In addition, we will evaluate smoking-related cognitions (e.g., attitudes towards smoking, social norms, self-efficacy, intention to smoke) in 9-12 year old children of smoking parents.
Discussion
This study protocol describes the design of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of proactive telephone counselling in smoking cessation. It is expected that, in the telephone counseling condition, parental smoking cessation rates will be higher and children's cognitions will be less favorable about smoking compared to the control condition.
Trial registration
The protocol for this study is registered with the Netherlands Trial Register NTR2707.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-732
PMCID: PMC3198704  PMID: 21943207
6.  Comparative effectiveness of post-discharge interventions for hospitalized smokers: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:124.
Background
A hospital admission offers smokers an opportunity to quit. Smoking cessation counseling provided in the hospital is effective, but only if it continues for more than one month after discharge. Providing smoking cessation medication at discharge may add benefit to counseling. A major barrier to translating this research into clinical practice is sustaining treatment during the transition to outpatient care. An evidence-based, practical, cost-effective model that facilitates the continuation of tobacco treatment after discharge is needed. This paper describes the design of a comparative effectiveness trial testing a hospital-initiated intervention against standard care.
Methods/design
A two-arm randomized controlled trial compares the effectiveness of standard post-discharge care with a multi-component smoking cessation intervention provided for three months after discharge. Current smokers admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital who receive bedside smoking cessation counseling, intend to quit after discharge and are willing to consider smoking cessation medication are eligible. Study participants are recruited following the hospital counseling visit and randomly assigned to receive Standard Care or Extended Care after hospital discharge. Standard Care includes a recommendation for a smoking cessation medication and information about community resources. Extended Care includes up to three months of free FDA-approved smoking cessation medication and five proactive computerized telephone calls that use interactive voice response technology to provide tailored motivational messages, offer additional live telephone counseling calls from a smoking cessation counselor, and facilitate medication refills. Outcomes are assessed at one, three, and six months after hospital discharge. The primary outcomes are self-reported and validated seven-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence at six months. Other outcomes include short-term and sustained smoking cessation, post-discharge utilization of smoking cessation treatment, hospital readmissions and emergency room visits, and program cost per quit.
Discussion
This study tests a disseminable smoking intervention model for hospitalized smokers. If effective and widely adopted, it could help to reduce population smoking rates and thereby reduce tobacco-related mortality, morbidity, and health care costs.
Trial registration
United States Clinical Trials Registry NCT01177176.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-124
PMCID: PMC3487923  PMID: 22852832
Smoking cessation; Hospitalization; Pharmacotherapy; Counseling; Randomized clinical trial; Interactive voice response
7.  Population-based tobacco treatment: study design of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:159.
Background
Most smokers do not receive comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for tobacco use that includes intensive behavioral counseling along with pharmacotherapy. Further, the use of proven, tobacco treatments is lower among minorities than among Whites. The primary objectives of this study are to: (1) Assess the effect of a proactive care intervention (PRO) on population-level smoking abstinence rates (i.e., abstinence among all smokers including those who use and do not utilize treatment) and on utilization of tobacco treatment compared to reactive/usual care (UC) among a diverse population of smokers, (2) Compare the effect of PRO on population-level smoking abstinence rates and utilization of tobacco treatments between African American and White smokers, and (3) Determine the cost-effectiveness of the proactive care intervention.
Methods/Design
This prospective randomized controlled trial identifies a population-based sample of current smokers from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic medical record health factor dataset. The proactive care intervention combines: (1) proactive outreach and (2) offer of choice of smoking cessation services (telephone or face-to-face). Proactive outreach includes mailed invitation materials followed by an outreach call that encourages smokers to seek treatment with choice of services. Proactive care participants who choose telephone care receive VA telephone counseling and access to pharmacotherapy. Proactive care participants who choose face-to-face care are referred to their VA facility's smoking cessation clinic. Usual care participants have access to standard smoking cessation services from their VA facility (e.g., pharmacotherapy, smoking cessation clinic) and from their state telephone quitline. Baseline data is collected from VA administrative databases and participant surveys. Outcomes from both groups are collected 12 months post-randomization from participant surveys and from VA administrative databases. The primary outcome is self-reported smoking abstinence, which is assessed at the population-level (i.e., among those who utilize and those who do not utilize tobacco treatment). Primary analyses will follow intention-to-treat methodology.
Discussion
This randomized trial is testing proactive outreach strategies offering choice of smoking cessation services, an innovation that if proven effective and cost-effective, will transform the way tobacco treatment is delivered. National dissemination of proactive treatment strategies could dramatically reduce tobacco-related morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.
Clinical trials registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00608426.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-159
PMCID: PMC3312843  PMID: 22394386
Smoking Cessation; Tobacco Cessation Products; Ethnic Groups; Minority Health
8.  Protocol for the Proactive Or Reactive Telephone Smoking CeSsation Support (PORTSSS) trial 
Trials  2009;10:26.
Background
Telephone quit lines are accessible to many smokers and are used to engage motivated smokers to make quit attempts. Smoking cessation counselling provided via telephone can either be reactive (i.e. primarily involving the provision of evidence-based information), or proactive (i.e. primarily involving repeated, sequenced calls from and interaction with trained cessation counsellors). Some studies have found proactive telephone counselling more effective and this trial will investigate whether or not proactive telephone support for smoking cessation, delivered through the National Health Service (NHS) Smoking Helpline is more effective or cost-effective than reactive support. It will also investigate whether or not providing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), in addition to telephone counselling, has an adjunctive impact on smoking cessation rates and whether or not this is cost effective.
Methods
This will be a parallel group, factorial design RCT, conducted through the English national NHS Smoking Helpline which is run from headquarters in Glasgow. Participants will be smokers who call the helpline from any location in England and who wish to stop smoking. If 644 participants are recruited to four equally-sized trial groups (total sample size = 2576), the trial will have 90% power for detecting a treatment effect (Odds Ratio) of 1.5 for each of the two interventions: i) proactive versus reactive support and ii) the offer of NRT versus no offer. The primary outcome measure for the study is self-reported, prolonged abstinence from smoking for at least six months following an agreed quit date. A concurrent health economic evaluation will investigate the cost effectiveness of the two interventions when delivered via a telephone helpline.
Discussion
The PORTSSS trial will provide high quality evidence to determine the most appropriate kind of counselling which should be provided via the NHS Smoking Helpline and also whether or not an additional offer of cost-free NRT is effective and cost effective for smoking cessation.
Trial Registration
(clinicaltrials.gov): NCT00775944
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-10-26
PMCID: PMC2679731  PMID: 19400961
9.  Implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the emergency department: a qualitative study of staff perceptions 
Background
The US Public Health Service smoking cessation practice guideline specifically recommends that physicians and nurses strongly advise their patients who use tobacco to quit, but the best approach for attaining this goal in the emergency department (ED) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize emergency physicians’ (EPs) and nurses’ (ENs) perceptions of cessation counseling and to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of the 5 A’s framework (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) in the ED.
Methods
We conducted semi-structured, face-to-face interviews of 11 EPs and 19 ENs following a pre-post implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in two study EDs. We used purposeful sampling to target EPs and ENs with different attitudes toward cessation counseling, based on their responses to a written survey (Decisional Balance Questionnaire). Conventional content analysis was used to inductively characterize the issues raised by study participants and to construct a coding structure, which was then applied to study transcripts.
Results
The main findings of this study converged upon three overarching domains: 1) reactions to the intervention; 2) perceptions of patients’ receptivity to cessation counseling; and 3) perspectives on ED cessation counseling and preventive care. ED staff expressed ambivalence toward the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines. Both ENs and EPs agreed that the delivery of smoking cessation counseling is important, but that it is not always practical in the ED on account of time constraints, the competing demands of acute care, and resistance from patients. Participants also called attention to the need for improved role clarity and teamwork when implementing the 5 A’s in the ED.
Conclusions
There are numerous challenges to the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the ED. ENs are generally willing to take the lead in offering brief cessation counseling, but their efforts need to be reinforced by EPs. ED systems need to address workflow, teamwork, and practice policies that facilitate prescription of smoking cessation medication, referral for cessation counseling, and follow-up in primary care. The results of this qualitative evaluation can be used to guide the design of future ED intervention studies.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT00756704
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-1
PMCID: PMC3902188  PMID: 24460974
Emergency medical services; Smoking cessation; Attitude of health personnel; Qualitative research; Content analysis
10.  Effectiveness of individual counseling for smoking cessation in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asymptomatic smokers 
Few studies have examined the effect of individual counseling for smoking cessation in China. The present study evaluated the efficacy of individual counseling in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asymptomatic smokers. This prospective randomized study evaluated 85 smokers with COPD and 105 asymptomatic smokers with normal lung function. The individuals were randomly allocated to intervention and control groups. Subjects in the intervention group were provided with individual cognitive counseling based on face-to-face individual consultation, self-help materials and nine telephone follow-ups. Subjects in the control group were provided with simple smoking cessation advice. The smoking status for all subjects and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) for COPD patients were assessed at baseline, week 4 and month 6. The COPD patient exacerbations during the 6 months were recorded. In the total study population, individual counseling resulted in higher abstinence rates compared with those in the control: Intervention vs. control, 23.4 vs. 10.4% (P=0.007), respectively. Similar results were observed in the smokers with COPD: Intervention vs. control, 40.5 vs. 18.6% (P=0.027), respectively. However, for asymptomatic smokers, the effect of individual counseling was identified to be statistically insignificant: Intervention vs. control, 9.6 vs. 3.8% (P=0.230), respectively. SGRQ scores and COPD exacerbations were significantly improved in patients who abstained from smoking compared with those in the patients who failed to stop smoking. Airway obstruction, quitting motivation and individual counseling were predictors associated with smoking cessation. Airway obstruction was the most significant predictor of smoking cessation (odds ratio, 4.215; 95% confidence interval, 2.215–7.865). The results of the present study show that individual counseling is an effective method for smoking cessation, particularly in COPD patients. However, its efficacy in asymptomatic smokers requires confirmation in further studies.
doi:10.3892/etm.2013.1463
PMCID: PMC3919914  PMID: 24520273
smoking cessation; individual counseling; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
11.  Nicotine patches and quitline counseling to help hospitalized smokers stay quit: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:128.
Background
Hospitalized smokers often quit smoking, voluntarily or involuntarily; most relapse soon after discharge. Extended follow-up counseling can help prevent relapse. However, it is difficult for hospitals to provide follow-up and smokers rarely leave the hospital with quitting aids (for example, nicotine patches). This study aims to test a practical model in which hospitals work with a state cessation quitline. Hospital staff briefly intervene with smokers at bedside and refer them to the quitline. Depending on assigned condition, smokers may receive nicotine patches at discharge or extended quitline telephone counseling post-discharge. This project establishes a practical model that lends itself to broader dissemination, while testing the effectiveness of the interventions in a rigorous randomized trial.
Methods/design
This randomized clinical trial (N = 1,640) tests the effect of two interventions on long-term quit rates of hospitalized smokers in a 2 x 2 factorial design. The interventions are (1) nicotine patches (eight-week, step down program) dispensed at discharge and (2) proactive telephone counseling provided by the state quitline after discharge. Subjects are randomly assigned into: usual care, nicotine patches, telephone counseling, or both patches and counseling. It is hypothesized that patches and counseling have independent effects and their combined effect is greater than either alone. The primary outcome measure is thirty-day abstinence at six months; a secondary outcome is biochemically validated smoking status. Cost-effectiveness analysis is conducted to compare each intervention condition (patch alone, counseling alone, and combined interventions) against the usual care condition. Further, this study examines whether smokers’ medical diagnosis is a moderator of treatment effect. Generalized linear (binomial) mixed models will be used to study the effect of treatment on abstinence rates. Clustering is accounted for with hospital-specific random effects.
Discussion
If this model is effective, quitlines across the U.S. could work with interested hospitals to set up similar systems. Hospital accreditation standards related to tobacco cessation performance measures require follow-up after discharge and provide additional incentive for hospitals to work with quitlines. The ubiquity of quitlines, combined with the consistency of quitline counseling delivery as centralized state operations, make this partnership attractive.
Trial registration
Smoking cessation in hospitalized smokers NCT01289275. Date of registration February 1, 2011; date of first patient August 3, 2011.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-128
PMCID: PMC3453521  PMID: 22853197
Smoking; Cessation; Telephone counseling; Nicotine replacement therapy; Hospital
12.  The protocol for the Be Our Ally Beat Smoking (BOABS) study, a randomised controlled trial of an intensive smoking cessation intervention in a remote Aboriginal Australian health care setting 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:232.
Background
Australian Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders (Indigenous Australians) smoke at much higher rates than non-Indigenous people and smoking is an important contributor to increased disease, hospital admissions and deaths in Indigenous Australian populations. Smoking cessation programs in Australia have not had the same impact on Indigenous smokers as on non-Indigenous smokers. This paper describes the protocol for a study that aims to test the efficacy of a locally-tailored, intensive, multidimensional smoking cessation program.
Methods/Design
This study is a parallel, randomised, controlled trial. Participants are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers aged 16 years and over, who are randomly allocated to a 'control' or 'intervention' group in a 2:1 ratio. Those assigned to the 'intervention' group receive smoking cessation counselling at face-to-face visits, weekly for the first four weeks, monthly to six months and two monthly to 12 months. They are also encouraged to attend a monthly smoking cessation support group. The 'control' group receive 'usual care' (i.e. they do not receive the smoking cessation program). Aboriginal researchers deliver the intervention, the goal of which is to help Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders quit smoking. Data collection occurs at baseline (when they enrol) and at six and 12 months after enrolling. The primary outcome is self-reported smoking cessation with urinary cotinine confirmation at 12 months.
Discussion
Stopping smoking has been described as the single most important individual change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers could make to improve their health. Smoking cessation programs are a major priority in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and evidence for effective approaches is essential for policy development and resourcing. A range of strategies have been used to encourage Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders to quit smoking however there have been few good quality studies that show what approaches work best. More evidence of strategies that could work more widely in Indigenous primary health care settings is needed if effective policy is to be developed and implemented. Our project will make an important contribution in this area.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12608000604303)
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-232
PMCID: PMC3349500  PMID: 22439653
Indigenous; Aboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; Randomised controlled trial; Smoking cessation; Study protocol; Be Our Ally Beat Smoking (BOABS) Study
13.  Will mothers of sick children help their husbands to stop smoking after receiving a brief intervention from nurses? Secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:50.
Background
Second-hand smoke is a severe health hazard for children. Clinical guidelines suggest that nurses advise smoking parents to quit when they accompany their sick children to paediatric settings, but the guidelines did not mention what nurses can do if the parents are not with the children. This study examines the effectiveness of a low-intensity, nurse-led health instructional initiative for non-smoking mothers, to motivate them to take action to help their husbands stop smoking.
Methods
This was a randomised controlled trial and 1,483 non-smoking women, who were living with husbands who do smoke, were recruited when they accompanied with their sick children on hospital admission in general paediatic wards/outpatient departments of four hospitals in Hong Kong. The women were randomly allocated into intervention and control groups. The former received brief health education counselling from nurses, a purpose-designed health education booklet, a “no smoking” sticker, and a telephone reminder one week later; the control group received usual care. The primary outcome was the women”s action to help their smoking husbands stop smoking at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-ups.
Results
A higher proportion of women in the intervention than the control group had taken action to help their husbands stop smoking at the 3-month (76% vs. 65%, P < .001), 6-month (66% vs. 49%, P < .001) and 12-month (52% vs. 40%, P < .001) follow-ups. Women who had received the intervention, had better knowledge of the health hazards of smoking, higher intention to take action, perceived their husbands’ willingness to stop/reduce smoking, had previously advised their husbands to give up smoking, were aware of their husbands’ history of smoking and, were aware that their husbands had made an earlier quit attempt and intended to help them stop smoking at the follow-ups.
Conclusions
A brief health education intervention by nurses in paediatric settings can be effective in motivating the mothers of sick children to take action to help their husbands quit smoking. We recommend adding the following to the clinical practice guidelines on treating tobacco use and dependence: ‘Nurses should offer every non-smoking mother of a sick child brief advice to encourage their husbands to stop smoking’.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN72290421.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-50
PMCID: PMC3626671  PMID: 23565835
Mothers of sick children; Nurse-led education; Paediatric settings; Randomised controlled trial; Smoking husband
14.  Population-Based Smoking Cessation Strategies 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this report was to provide the Ministry of Health Promotion (MHP) with a summary of existing evidence-based reviews of the clinical and economic outcomes of population-based smoking cessation strategies.
Background
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario, linked to approximately 13,000 avoidable premature deaths annually – the vast majority of these are attributable to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease. (1) In Ontario, tobacco related health care costs amount to $6.1 billion annually, or about $502 per person (including non-smokers) and account for 1.4% of the provincial domestic product. (2) In 2007, there were approximately 1.7 to 1.9 million smokers in Ontario with two-thirds of these intending to quit in the next six months and one-third wanting to quit within 30 days. (3) In 2007/2008, Ontario invested $15 million in cessation programs, services and training. (4) In June 2009, the Ministry of Health Promotion (MHP) requested that MAS provide a summary of the evidence base surrounding population-based smoking cessation strategies.
Project Scope
The MAS and the MHP agreed that the project would consist of a clinical and economic summary of the evidence surrounding nine population-based strategies for smoking cessation including:
Mass media interventions
Telephone counselling
Post-secondary smoking cessation programs (colleges/universities)
Community-wide stop-smoking contests (i.e. Quit and Win)
Community interventions
Physician advice to quit
Nursing interventions for smoking cessation
Hospital-based interventions for smoking cessation
Pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation, specifically:
Nicotine replacement therapies
Antidepressants
Anxiolytic drugs
Opioid antagonists
Clonidine
Nicotine receptor partial agonists
Reviews examining interventions for Cut Down to Quit (CDTQ) or harm reduction were not included in this review. In addition, reviews examining individual-level smoking cessation strategies (i.e. self-help interventions, counselling, etc.), web-based smoking cessation interventions, and smoking cessation strategies for special population groups outside of those identified from reviews included in this analysis were excluded from the scope. Information on cessation programs or strategies in other provinces or an evaluation of current population-based programs in Ontario was also not included in the scope.
Status in Ontario
In 2005, the McGuinty government launched the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, focusing on initiatives aimed at young people to encourage them not to smoke, protection from exposure to second-hand smoke, and programs to help smokers quit. There are currently many smoking cessation programs funded across the province and in 2007/2008, Ontario invested $15 million in cessation programs, services and training. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) fee codes for physician advice to quit also exist.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Research Question
What are the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the selected population-based strategies for smoking cessation?
Literature Search
A preliminary scan of Medline was conducted to identify major systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and health technology assessments (HTAs) in the area of smoking cessation. Based on the availability of a number of Cochrane Reviews on the topic of smoking cessation, a more systematic search of the literature was not conducted. For the economic analysis, a literature search was conducted of relevant databases for recently published article reviews, HTAs, and Cochrane Reviews of the nine identified population-based smoking cessation strategies. This analysis is limited as it is a summary of existing reviews and not a systematic review.
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcome of interest for the clinical summary was abstinence from smoking at 6 months follow up; additional outcomes were examined where available. The primary outcomes of interest for the economic analysis were cost-effectiveness ratios.
Summary of Findings
The evidence suggests that pharmacotherapy, physician advice to quit, nursing interventions, hospital-based interventions, and proactive telephone counselling are effective and cost-effective in the short-term.
There is poor quality data around other population-based smoking cessation strategies including mass media campaigns, community interventions, quit and win contests, access to ‘quitlines’, and interventions for university and college campuses, making evaluation of their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness difficult.
Based on pooled summary estimates of effect and safety data, the most effective strategies are varenicline, buproprion, and nicotine replacement therapies, followed by physician advice to quit and nursing interventions (in non-hospitalized smokers without cardiovascular disease).
PMCID: PMC3377580  PMID: 23074386
15.  Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Using an Ontario Policy Model 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-Term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Background
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic inflammation throughout the airways, parenchyma, and pulmonary vasculature. The inflammation causes repeated cycles of injury and repair in the airway wall— inflammatory cells release a variety of chemicals and lead to cellular damage. The inflammation process also contributes to the loss of elastic recoil pressure in the lung, thereby reducing the driving pressure for expiratory flow through narrowed and poorly supported airways, in which airflow resistance is significantly increased. Expiratory flow limitation is the pathophysiological hallmark of COPD.
Exacerbations of COPD contribute considerably to morbidity and mortality, and impose a burden on the health care system. They are a leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, particularly in the winter. In Canada, the reported average cost for treating a moderate exacerbation is $641; for a major exacerbation, the cost is $10,086.
Objective
The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of the following interventions in moderate to very severe COPD, investigated in the Medical Advisory Secretariat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis Series:
smoking cessation programs in moderate COPD in an outpatient setting:
– intensive counselling (IC) versus usual care (UC)
– nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) versus UC
– IC + NRT versus placebo
– bupropion versus placebo
multidisciplinary care (MDC) teams versus UC in moderate to severe COPD in an outpatient setting
pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) versus UC following acute exacerbations in moderate to severe COPD
long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) versus UC in severe hypoxemia in COPD in an outpatient setting
ventilation:
– noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) + usual medical care versus usual medical care in acute respiratory failure due to an acute exacerbation in severe COPD in an inpatient setting
– weaning with NPPV versus weaning with invasive mechanical ventilation in acute respiratory failure due to an acute exacerbation in very severe COPD in an inpatient setting
Methods
A cost-utility analysis was conducted using a Markov probabilistic model. The model consists of different health states based on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease COPD severity classification. Patients were assigned different costs and utilities depending on their severity health state during each model cycle. In addition to moving between health states, patients were at risk of acute exacerbations of COPD in each model cycle. During each cycle, patients could have no acute exacerbation, a minor acute exacerbation, or a major exacerbation. For the purposes of the model, a major exacerbation was defined as one that required hospitalization. Patients were assigned different costs and utilities in each model cycle, depending on whether they experienced an exacerbation, and its severity.
Starting cohorts reflected the various patient populations from the trials analyzed. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs)—that is, costs per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY)—were estimated for each intervention using clinical parameters and summary estimates of relative risks of (re)hospitalization, as well as mortality and abstinence rates, from the COPD mega-analysis evidence-based analyses.
A budget impact analysis was also conducted to project incremental costs already being incurred or resources already in use in Ontario. Using provincial data, medical literature, and expert opinion, health system impacts were calculated for the strategies investigated.
All costs are reported in Canadian dollars.
Results
All smoking cessation programs were dominant (i.e., less expensive and more effective overall). Assuming a base case cost of $1,041 and $1,527 per patient for MDC and PR, the ICER was calculated to be $14,123 per QALY and $17,938 per QALY, respectively. When the costs of MDC and PR were varied in a 1-way sensitivity analysis to reflect variation in resource utilization reported in the literature, the ICER increased to $55,322 per QALY and $56,270 per QALY, respectively. Assuming a base case cost of $2,261 per year per patient for LTOT as reported by data from the Ontario provincial program, the ICER was calculated to be $38,993 per QALY. Ventilation strategies were dominant (i.e., cheaper and more effective), as reflected by the clinical evidence of significant in-hospital days avoided in the study group.
Ontario currently pays for IC through physician billing (translating to a current burden of $8 million) and bupropion through the Ontario Drug Benefit program (translating to a current burden of almost $2 million). The burden of NRT was projected to be $10 million, with future expenditures of up to $1 million in Years 1 to 3 for incident cases.
Ontario currently pays for some chronic disease management programs. Based on the most recent Family Health Team data, the costs of MDC programs to manage COPD were estimated at $85 million in fiscal year 2010, with projected future expenditures of up to $51 million for incident cases, assuming the base case cost of the program. However, this estimate does not accurately reflect the current costs to the province because of lack of report by Family Health Teams, lack of capture of programs outside this model of care by any data set in the province, and because the resource utilization and frequency of visits/follow-up phone calls were based on the findings in the literature rather than the actual Family Health Team COPD management programs in place in Ontario. Therefore, MDC resources being utilized in the province are unknown and difficult to measure.
Data on COPD-related hospitalizations were pulled from Ontario administrative data sets and based on consultation with experts. Half of hospitalized patients will access PR resources at least once, and half of these will repeat the therapy, translating to a potential burden of $17 million to $32 million, depending on the cost of the program. These resources are currently being absorbed, but since utilization is not being captured by any data set in the province, it is difficult to quantify and estimate. Provincial programs may be under-resourced, and patients may not be accessing these services effectively.
Data from the LTOT provincial program (based on fiscal year 2006 information) suggested that the burden was $65 million, with potential expenditures of up to $0.2 million in Years 1 to 3 for incident cases.
From the clinical evidence on ventilation (i.e., reduction in length of stay in hospital), there were potential cost savings to the hospitals of $42 million and $12 million for NPPV and weaning with NPPV, respectively, if the study intervention were adopted. Future cost savings were projected to be up to $4 million and $1 million, respectively, for incident cases.
Conclusions
Currently, costs for most of these interventions are being absorbed by provider services, the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, the Assistive Devices Program, and the hospital global budget. The most cost-effective intervention for COPD will depend on decision-makers’ willingness to pay. Lack of provincial data sets capturing resource utilization for the various interventions poses a challenge for estimating current burden and future expenditures.
PMCID: PMC3384363  PMID: 23074422
16.  Psychosocial interventions for supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy 
Background
Tobacco smoking in pregnancy remains one of the few preventable factors associated with complications in pregnancy, stillbirth, low birthweight and preterm birth and has serious long-term implications for women and babies. Smoking in pregnancy is decreasing in high-income countries, but is strongly associated with poverty and increasing in low- to middle-income countries.
Objectives
To assess the effects of smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy on smoking behaviour and perinatal health outcomes.
Search methods
In this fifth update, we searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register (1 March 2013), checked reference lists of retrieved studies and contacted trial authors to locate additional unpublished data.
Selection criteria
Randomised controlled trials, cluster-randomised trials, randomised cross-over trials, and quasi-randomised controlled trials (with allocation by maternal birth date or hospital record number) of psychosocial smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and trial quality, and extracted data. Direct comparisons were conducted in RevMan, and subgroup analyses and sensitivity analysis were conducted in SPSS.
Main results
Eighty-six trials were included in this updated review, with 77 trials (involving over 29,000 women) providing data on smoking abstinence in late pregnancy.
In separate comparisons, counselling interventions demonstrated a significant effect compared with usual care (27 studies; average risk ratio (RR) 1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19 to 1.75), and a borderline effect compared with less intensive interventions (16 studies; average RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.82). However, a significant effect was only seen in subsets where counselling was provided in conjunction with other strategies. It was unclear whether any type of counselling strategy is more effective than others (one study; RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.53). In studies comparing counselling and usual care (the largest comparison), it was unclear whether interventions prevented smoking relapse among women who had stopped smoking spontaneously in early pregnancy (eight studies; average RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.21). However, a clear effect was seen in smoking abstinence at zero to five months postpartum (10 studies; average RR 1.76, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.95), a borderline effect at six to 11 months (six studies; average RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.77), and a significant effect at 12 to 17 months (two studies, average RR 2.20, 95% CI 1.23 to 3.96), but not in the longer term. In other comparisons, the effect was not significantly different from the null effect for most secondary outcomes, but sample sizes were small.
Incentive-based interventions had the largest effect size compared with a less intensive intervention (one study; RR 3.64, 95% CI 1.84 to 7.23) and an alternative intervention (one study; RR 4.05, 95% CI 1.48 to 11.11).
Feedback interventions demonstrated a significant effect only when compared with usual care and provided in conjunction with other strategies, such as counselling (two studies; average RR 4.39, 95% CI 1.89 to 10.21), but the effect was unclear when compared with a less intensive intervention (two studies; average RR 1.19, 95% CI 0.45 to 3.12).
The effect of health education was unclear when compared with usual care (three studies; average RR 1.51, 95% CI 0.64 to 3.59) or less intensive interventions (two studies; average RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.31).
Social support interventions appeared effective when provided by peers (five studies; average RR 1.49, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.19), but the effect was unclear in a single trial of support provided by partners.
The effects were mixed where the smoking interventions were provided as part of broader interventions to improve maternal health, rather than targeted smoking cessation interventions.
Subgroup analyses on primary outcome for all studies showed the intensity of interventions and comparisons has increased over time, with higher intensity interventions more likely to have higher intensity comparisons. While there was no significant difference, trials where the comparison group received usual care had the largest pooled effect size (37 studies; average RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.44), with lower effect sizes when the comparison group received less intensive interventions (30 studies; average RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.31), or alternative interventions (two studies; average RR 1.26, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.53). More recent studies included in this update had a lower effect size (20 studies; average RR 1.26, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.59), I2= 3%, compared to those in the previous version of the review (50 studies; average RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.30 to 1.73). There were similar effect sizes in trials with biochemically validated smoking abstinence (49 studies; average RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.67) and those with self-reported abstinence (20 studies; average RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.87). There was no significant difference between trials implemented by researchers (efficacy studies), and those implemented by routine pregnancy staff (effectiveness studies), however the effect was unclear in three dissemination trials of counselling interventions where the focus on the intervention was at an organisational level (average RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.37 to 2.50). The pooled effects were similar in interventions provided for women with predominantly low socio-economic status (44 studies; average RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.66), compared to other women (26 studies; average RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.79); though the effect was unclear in interventions among women from ethnic minority groups (five studies; average RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.40) and aboriginal women (two studies; average RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.06 to 2.67). Importantly, pooled results demonstrated that women who received psychosocial interventions had an 18% reduction in preterm births (14 studies; average RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.70 to 0.96), and infants born with low birthweight (14 studies; average RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.94). There did not appear to be any adverse effects from the psychosocial interventions, and three studies measured an improvement in women’s psychological wellbeing.
Authors’ conclusions
Psychosocial interventions to support women to stop smoking in pregnancy can increase the proportion of women who stop smoking in late pregnancy, and reduce low birthweight and preterm births.
doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001055.pub4
PMCID: PMC4022453  PMID: 24154953
17.  A randomised controlled trial linking mental health inpatients to community smoking cessation supports: A study protocol 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:570.
Background
Mental health inpatients smoke at higher rates than the general population and are disproportionately affected by tobacco dependence. Despite the advent of smoke free policies within mental health hospitals, limited systems are in place to support a cessation attempt post hospitalisation, and international evidence suggests that most smokers return to pre-admission smoking levels following discharge. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial that will test the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of linking inpatient smoking care with ongoing community cessation support for smokers with a mental illness.
Methods/Design
This study will be conducted as a randomised controlled trial. 200 smokers with an acute mental illness will be recruited from a large inpatient mental health facility. Participants will complete a baseline survey and will be randomised to either a multimodal smoking cessation intervention or provided with hospital smoking care only. Randomisation will be stratified by diagnosis (psychotic, non-psychotic). Intervention participants will be provided with a brief motivational interview in the inpatient setting and options of ongoing smoking cessation support post discharge: nicotine replacement therapy (NRT); referral to Quitline; smoking cessation groups; and fortnightly telephone support. Outcome data, including cigarettes smoked per day, quit attempts, and self-reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence (validated by exhaled carbon monoxide), will be collected via blind interview at one week, two months, four months and six months post discharge. Process information will also be collected, including the use of cessation supports and cost of the intervention.
Discussion
This study will provide comprehensive data on the potential of an integrated, multimodal smoking cessation intervention for persons with an acute mental illness, linking inpatient with community cessation support.
Trial Registration
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZTCN: ACTRN12609000465257
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-570
PMCID: PMC3155917  PMID: 21762532
18.  Implementing Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Hospitalized Veterans: Effects on Nurse Attitudes and Performance 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(11):1420-1429.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
A minority of hospitalized smokers actually receives assistance in quitting during hospitalization or cessation counseling following discharge. This study aims to determine the impact of a guideline-based intervention on 1) nurses’ delivery of the 5A’s (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange follow-up) in hospitalized smokers, and 2) nurses’ attitudes toward the intervention.
METHODS
We conducted a pre-post guideline implementation trial involving 205 hospitalized smokers on the inpatient medicine units at one US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. The intervention included: 1) academic detailing of nurses on delivery of brief cessation counseling, 2) modification of the admission form to facilitate 5A’s documentation, and 3) referral of motivated inpatients to receive proactive telephone counseling. Based on subject interviews, we calculated a nursing 5A’s composite score for each patient (ranging from 0 to 9). We used linear regression with generalized estimating equations to compare the 5A’s composite score (and logistic regression to compare individual A’s) across periods. We compared 29 nurses’ ratings of their self-efficacy and decisional balance (“pros” and “cons”) with regard to cessation counseling before and after guideline implementation. Following implementation, we also interviewed a purposeful sample of nurses to assess their attitudes toward the intervention.
RESULTS
Of 193 smokers who completed the pre-discharge interview, the mean nursing 5A’s composite score was higher after guideline implementation (3.9 vs. 3.1, adjusted difference 1.0, 95 % CI 0.5–1.6). More patients were advised to quit (62 vs. 48 %, adjusted OR = 2.1, 95 % CI = 1.2–3.5) and were assisted in quitting (70 vs. 45 %, adjusted OR = 2.9, 95 % CI = 1.6–5.3) by a nurse during the post-implementation period. Nurses’ attitudes toward cessation counseling improved following guideline implementation (35.3 vs. 32.7 on “pros” subscale, p = 0.01), without significant change on the “cons” subscale.
CONCLUSIONS
A multifaceted intervention including academic detailing and adaptation of the nursing admission template is an effective strategy for improving nurses’ delivery of brief cessation counseling in medical inpatients.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2464-7
PMCID: PMC3797327  PMID: 23649783
smoking cessation; Veterans; counseling; guideline-based intervention
19.  Brief intervention during hospital admission to help patients to give up smoking after myocardial infarction and bypass surgery: randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2002;324(7329):87-89.
Objective
To evaluate a smoking cessation intervention that can be routinely delivered to smokers admitted with cardiac problems.
Design
Randomised controlled trial of usual care compared with intervention delivered on hospital wards by cardiac rehabilitation nurses.
Setting
Inpatient wards in 17 hospitals in England.
Participants
540 smokers admitted to hospital after myocardial infarction or for cardiac bypass surgery who expressed interest in stopping smoking.
Intervention
Brief verbal advice and standard booklet (usual care). Intervention lasting 20-30 minutes including carbon monoxide reading, special booklet, quiz, contact with other people giving up, declaration of commitment to give up, sticker in patient's notes (intervention group).
Main outcome measures
Continuous abstinence at six weeks and 12 months determined by self report and by biochemical validation at these end points. Feasibility of the intervention and delivery of its components.
Results
After six weeks 151 (59%) and 159 (60%) patients remained abstinent in the control and intervention group, respectively (P=0.84). After 12 months the figures were 102 (41%) and 94 (37%) (P=0.40). Recruitment was slow, and delivery of the intervention was inconsistent, raising concerns about the feasibility of the intervention within routine care. Patients who received the declaration of commitment component were almost twice as likely to remain abstinent than those who did not receive it (P<0.01). Low dependence on tobacco and high motivation to give up were the main independent predictors of positive outcome. Patients who had had bypass surgery were over twice as likely to return to smoking as patients who had had a myocardial infarction.
Conclusions
Single session interventions delivered within routine care may have insufficient power to influence highly dependent smokers.
What is already known on this topicStopping smoking after a serious cardiac event is associated with a significant decrease in mortalityUp to 70% of smokers who survive cardiac surgery smoke again within a yearIntensive interventions delivered by dedicated staff can help cardiac patients not to start to smoke againWhat this study addsAn intervention delivered by cardiac rehabilitation nurses within routine care during patients' hospital stay failed to increase the number who managed to stop smoking in the long termFor busy staff with competing priorities, the 30 minute intervention was also on the borderline of practicabilityPatients admitted after a myocardial infarction were over twice as likely to give up than those admitted for a bypass operation
PMCID: PMC64504  PMID: 11786452
20.  Design of a comparative effectiveness evaluation of a culturally tailored versus standard community-based smoking cessation treatment program for LGBT smokers 
BMC psychology  2014;2(1):12.
Background
Smoking prevalence rates among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population are significantly higher than the general population. However, there is limited research on smoking cessation treatments in this group, particularly on culturally targeted interventions. Moreover, there are few interventions that address culturally specific psychosocial variables (e.g., minority stress) that may influence outcomes. This paper describes the protocol for a comparative effectiveness trial testing an evidence-based smoking cessation program, Courage to Quit, against a culturally tailored version for LGBT smokers, and examines the role of culturally specific psychosocial variables on cessation outcomes.
Methods/Design
To examine the effectiveness of a culturally targeted versus standard smoking cessation intervention, the study utilizes a 2-arm block, randomized, control trial (RCT) design. Adult LGBT participants (n = 400) are randomized to one of the two programs each consisting of a six-session group program delivered in a community center and an eight week supply of the transdermal nicotine patch. Four individualized telephone counseling sessions occur at weeks 2, 5, 7, and 9, at times of greatest risk for relapse. Study outcome measures are collected at baseline, and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post quit date. Primary outcomes are expired air carbon monoxide verified 7-day point-prevalence quit rates at each measurement period. Secondary outcomes assess changes in cravings, withdrawal symptoms, smoking cessation self-efficacy, and treatment adherence. Additionally, study staff examines the role of culturally specific psychosocial variables on cessation outcomes using path analysis.
Discussion
Determining the efficacy of culturally specific versus standard evidence based approaches to smoking cessation is a critical issue facing the field today. This study provides a model for the development and implementation of a culturally tailored smoking cessation intervention for LGBT participants and addresses a gap in the field by examining the role of culturally psychosocial variables associated with cessation outcomes.
Trial registration
U.S. National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials NCT01633567 Registered 30 May 2012.
doi:10.1186/2050-7283-2-12
PMCID: PMC4269994  PMID: 25566383
Smoking cessation; LGBT; Culturally tailored
21.  RCT of a client-centred, caseworker-delivered smoking cessation intervention for a socially disadvantaged population 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:70.
Background
Disadvantaged groups are an important target for smoking cessation intervention. Smoking rates are markedly higher among severely socially disadvantaged groups such as indigenous people, the homeless, people with a mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction, and the unemployed than in the general population. This proposal aims to evaluate the efficacy of a client-centred, caseworker delivered cessation support intervention at increasing validated self reported smoking cessation rates in a socially disadvantaged population.
Methods/Design
A block randomised controlled trial will be conducted. The setting will be a non-government organisation, Community Care Centre located in New South Wales, Australia which provides emergency relief and counselling services to predominantly government income assistance recipients. Eligible clients identified as smokers during a baseline touch screen computer survey will be recruited and randomised by a trained research assistant located in the waiting area. Allocation to intervention or control groups will be determined by time periods with clients randomised in one-week blocks. Intervention group clients will receive an intensive client-centred smoking cessation intervention offered by the caseworker over two face-to-face and two telephone contacts. There will be two primary outcome measures obtained at one, six, and 12 month follow-up: 1) 24-hour expired air CO validated self-reported smoking cessation and 2) 7-day self-reported smoking cessation. Continuous abstinence will also be measured at six and 12 months follow up.
Discussion
This study will generate new knowledge in an area where the current information regarding the most effective smoking cessation approaches with disadvantaged groups is limited.
Trial registration number
ISRCTN: ISRCTN85202510
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-70
PMCID: PMC3038158  PMID: 21281519
22.  Comparative effectiveness of post-discharge strategies for hospitalized smokers: study protocol for the Helping HAND 2 randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:109.
Background
Smoking cessation interventions for hospitalized smokers are effective in promoting smoking cessation, but only if the tobacco dependence treatment continues after the patient leaves the hospital. Sustaining tobacco dependence treatment after hospital discharge is a challenge for health care systems. Our previous single-site randomized controlled trial demonstrated the effectiveness of an intervention that facilitated the delivery of comprehensive tobacco cessation treatment, including both medication and counseling, after hospital discharge. We subsequently streamlined the intervention model to increase its potential for dissemination. This new model is being tested in a larger multi-site trial with broader eligibility criteria in order to enroll a more representative sample of hospitalized smokers. This paper describes the trial design and contrasts it with the earlier study.
Methods/Design
A 2-arm, 3-site randomized controlled trial is testing the hypothesis that a multi-component Sustained Care intervention is more effective than Standard Care in helping hospitalized cigarette smokers stop smoking after hospital discharge. The trial enrolls adult daily cigarette smokers who are admitted to 1 of 3 participating hospitals in Massachusetts or Pennsylvania. Participants receive the same smoking cessation intervention in the hospital. They are randomly assigned to receive either Standard Care or Sustained Care after hospital discharge. Participants in the Sustained Care arm receive a free 3-month supply of FDA-approved smoking cessation medication and 5 interactive voice response calls that provide tailored motivational messages, medication refills, and access to a live tobacco treatment counselor. Participants in the Standard Care arm receive a smoking cessation medication recommendation and information about community resources. Outcomes are assessed at 1, 3, and 6 months after discharge. The primary outcome is biochemically-validated tobacco abstinence for the past 7 days at 6-month follow-up. Other outcome measures include self-reported tobacco abstinence measures, use of medication and counseling after discharge, hospital readmissions, and program cost-effectiveness.
Discussion
We adapted a proven intervention for hospitalized smokers to enhance its potential for dissemination and are testing it in a multi-site trial. Study enrollment data suggests that the trial achieved the goal of recruiting a broader sample of hospitalized smokers.
Trial registration
Comparative Effectiveness of Post-Discharge Strategies for Hospitalized Smokers (Helping HAND2) NCT01714323. Registered October 22, 2012.
doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1484-0
PMCID: PMC4328622
Smoking cessation; Hospitalization; Pharmacotherapy; Counseling; Interactive voice response; Randomized controlled trial
23.  Telephone care coordination for smokers in VA mental health clinics: protocol for a hybrid type-2 effectiveness-implementation trial 
Background
This paper describes an innovative protocol for a type-II hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial that is evaluating a smoking cessation telephone care coordination program for Veterans Health Administration (VA) mental-health clinic patients. As a hybrid trial, the protocol combines implementation science and clinical trial methods and outcomes that can inform future cessation studies and the implementation of tobacco cessation programs into routine care. The primary objectives of the trial are (1) to evaluate the process of adapting, implementing, and sustaining a smoking cessation telephone care coordination program in VA mental health clinics, (2) to determine the effectiveness of the program in promoting long-term abstinence from smoking among mental health patients, and (3) to compare the effectiveness of telephone counseling delivered by VA staff with that delivered by state quitlines.
Methods/design
The care coordination program is being implemented at six VA facilities. VA mental health providers refer patients to the program via an electronic medical record consult. Program staff call referred patients to offer enrollment. All patients who enroll receive a self-help booklet, mailed smoking cessation medications, and proactive multi-call telephone counseling. Participants are randomized to receive this counseling from VA staff or their state’s quitline. Four primary implementation strategies are being used to optimize program implementation and sustainability: blended facilitation, provider training, informatics support, and provider feedback. A three-phase formative evaluation is being conducted to identify barriers to, and facilitators for, program implementation and sustainability. A mixed-methods approach is being used to collect quantitative clinical effectiveness data (e.g., self-reported abstinence at six months) and both quantitative and qualitative implementation data (e.g., provider referral rates, coded interviews with providers). Summative data will be analyzed using the Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework.
Discussion
This paper describes the rationale and methods of a trial designed to simultaneously study the clinical effectiveness and implementation of a telephone smoking cessation program for smokers using VA mental health clinics. Such hybrid designs are an important methodological design that can shorten the time between the development of an intervention and its translation into routine clinical care.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00724308
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-8-7
PMCID: PMC3636068  PMID: 23497630
Tobacco; Smoking; Mental health; Intervention; Implementation; Psychiatry
24.  The Effectiveness of Mobile-Health Technology-Based Health Behaviour Change or Disease Management Interventions for Health Care Consumers: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(1):e1001362.
Caroline Free and colleagues systematically review a fast-moving field, that of the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions delivered to healthcare consumers, and conclude that high-quality, adequately powered trials of optimized interventions are required to evaluate effects on objective outcomes.
Background
Mobile technologies could be a powerful media for providing individual level support to health care consumers. We conducted a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions delivered to health care consumers.
Methods and Findings
We searched for all controlled trials of mobile technology-based health interventions delivered to health care consumers using MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Global Health, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, UK NHS HTA (Jan 1990–Sept 2010). Two authors extracted data on allocation concealment, allocation sequence, blinding, completeness of follow-up, and measures of effect. We calculated effect estimates and used random effects meta-analysis. We identified 75 trials. Fifty-nine trials investigated the use of mobile technologies to improve disease management and 26 trials investigated their use to change health behaviours. Nearly all trials were conducted in high-income countries. Four trials had a low risk of bias. Two trials of disease management had low risk of bias; in one, antiretroviral (ART) adherence, use of text messages reduced high viral load (>400 copies), with a relative risk (RR) of 0.85 (95% CI 0.72–0.99), but no statistically significant benefit on mortality (RR 0.79 [95% CI 0.47–1.32]). In a second, a PDA based intervention increased scores for perceived self care agency in lung transplant patients. Two trials of health behaviour management had low risk of bias. The pooled effect of text messaging smoking cessation support on biochemically verified smoking cessation was (RR 2.16 [95% CI 1.77–2.62]). Interventions for other conditions showed suggestive benefits in some cases, but the results were not consistent. No evidence of publication bias was demonstrated on visual or statistical examination of the funnel plots for either disease management or health behaviours. To address the limitation of the older search, we also reviewed more recent literature.
Conclusions
Text messaging interventions increased adherence to ART and smoking cessation and should be considered for inclusion in services. Although there is suggestive evidence of benefit in some other areas, high quality adequately powered trials of optimised interventions are required to evaluate effects on objective outcomes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
Every year, millions of people die from cardiovascular diseases (diseases of the heart and circulation), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a long-term lung disease), lung cancer, HIV infection, and diabetes. These diseases are increasingly important causes of mortality (death) in low- and middle-income countries and are responsible for nearly 40% of deaths in high-income countries. For all these diseases, individuals can adopt healthy behaviors that help prevent disease onset. For example, people can lower their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by maintaining a healthy body weight, and, if they are smokers, they can reduce their risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease by giving up cigarettes. In addition, optimal treatment of existing diseases can reduce mortality and morbidity (illness). Thus, in people who are infected with HIV, antiretroviral therapy delays the progression of HIV infection and the onset of AIDS, and in people who have diabetes, good blood sugar control can prevent retinopathy (a type of blindness) and other serious complications of diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Health-care providers need effective ways to encourage "health-care consumers" to make healthy lifestyle choices and to self-manage chronic diseases. The amount of information, encouragement and support that can be conveyed to individuals during face-to-face consultations or through traditional media such as leaflets is limited, but mobile technologies such as mobile phones and portable computers have the potential to transform the delivery of health messages. These increasingly popular technologies—more than two-thirds of the world's population now owns a mobile phone—can be used to deliver health messages to people anywhere and at the most relevant times. For example, smokers trying to quit smoking can be sent regular text messages to sustain their motivation, but can also use text messaging to request extra support when it is needed. But is "mHealth," the provision of health-related services using mobile communication technology, an effective way to deliver health messages to health-care consumers? In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers assess the effectiveness of mobile technology-based health behavior change interventions and disease management interventions delivered to health-care consumers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 75 controlled trials (studies that compare the outcomes of people who do and do not receive an intervention) of mobile technology-based health interventions delivered to health-care consumers that met their predefined criteria. Twenty-six trials investigated the use of mobile technologies to change health behaviors, 59 investigated their use in disease management, most were of low quality, and nearly all were undertaken in high-income countries. In one high-quality trial that used text messages to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive patients in Kenya, the intervention significantly reduced the patients’ viral load but did not significantly reduce mortality (the observed reduction in deaths may have happened by chance). In two high-quality UK trials, a smoking intervention based on text messaging (txt2stop) more than doubled biochemically verified smoking cessation. Other lower-quality trials indicated that using text messages to encourage physical activity improved diabetes control but had no effect on body weight. Combined diet and physical activity text messaging interventions also had no effect on weight, whereas interventions for other conditions showed suggestive benefits in some but not all cases.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide mixed evidence for the effectiveness of health intervention delivery to health-care consumers using mobile technologies. Moreover, they highlight the need for additional high-quality controlled trials of this mHealth application, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, the demonstration that text messaging interventions increased adherence to antiretroviral therapy in a low-income setting and increased smoking cessation in a high-income setting provides some support for the inclusion of these two interventions in health-care services in similar settings. However, the effects of these two interventions need to be established in other settings and their cost-effectiveness needs to be measured before they are widely implemented. Finally, for other mobile technology–based interventions designed to change health behaviors or to improve self-management of chronic diseases, the results of this systematic review suggest that the interventions need to be optimized before further trials are undertaken to establish their clinical benefits.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001362.
A related PLOS Medicine Research Article by Free et al. investigates the ability of mHealth technologies to improve health-care service delivery processes
Wikipedia has a page on mHealth (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies is a global survey of mHealth prepared by the World Health Organization’s Global Observatory for eHealth (eHealth is health-care practice supported by electronic processes and communication)
The mHealth in Low-Resource Settings website, which is maintained by the Netherlands Royal Tropical Institute, provides information on the current use, potential, and limitations of mHealth in low-resource settings
More information about Txt2stop is available, the UK National Health Service Choices website provides an analysis of the Txt2stop trial and what its results mean, and the UK National Health Service Smokefree website provides a link to a Quit App for the iPhone
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a text messaging service that delivers regular health tips and alerts to mobile phones
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001362
PMCID: PMC3548655  PMID: 23349621
25.  Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to conduct an evidence-based assessment of home telehealth technologies for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in order to inform recommendations regarding the access and provision of these services in Ontario. This analysis was one of several analyses undertaken to evaluate interventions for COPD. The perspective of this assessment was that of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a provincial payer of medically necessary health care services.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Canada is facing an increase in chronic respiratory diseases due in part to its aging demographic. The projected increase in COPD will put a strain on health care payers and providers. There is therefore an increasing demand for telehealth services that improve access to health care services while maintaining or improving quality and equality of care. Many telehealth technologies however are in the early stages of development or diffusion and thus require study to define their application and potential harms or benefits. The Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) therefore sought to evaluate telehealth technologies for COPD.
Technology
Telemedicine (or telehealth) refers to using advanced information and communication technologies and electronic medical devices to support the delivery of clinical care, professional education, and health-related administrative services.
Generally there are 4 broad functions of home telehealth interventions for COPD:
to monitor vital signs or biological health data (e.g., oxygen saturation),
to monitor symptoms, medication, or other non-biologic endpoints (e.g., exercise adherence),
to provide information (education) and/or other support services (such as reminders to exercise or positive reinforcement), and
to establish a communication link between patient and provider.
These functions often require distinct technologies, although some devices can perform a number of these diverse functions. For the purposes of this review, MAS focused on home telemonitoring and telephone only support technologies.
Telemonitoring (or remote monitoring) refers to the use of medical devices to remotely collect a patient’s vital signs and/or other biologic health data and the transmission of those data to a monitoring station for interpretation by a health care provider.
Telephone only support refers to disease/disorder management support provided by a health care provider to a patient who is at home via telephone or videoconferencing technology in the absence of transmission of patient biologic data.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of home telemonitoring compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of telephone only support programs compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on November 3, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2000 until November 3, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria – Question #1
frequent transmission of a patient’s physiological data collected at home and without a health care professional physically present to health care professionals for routine monitoring through the use of a communication technology;
monitoring combined with a coordinated management and feedback system based on transmitted data;
telemonitoring as a key component of the intervention (subjective determination);
usual care as provided by the usual care provider for the control group;
randomized controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), systematic reviews, and/or meta-analyses;
published between January 1, 2000 and November 3, 2010.
Inclusion Criteria – Question #2
scheduled or frequent contact between patient and a health care professional via telephone or videoconferencing technology in the absence of transmission of patient physiological data;
monitoring combined with a coordinated management and feedback system based on transmitted data;
telephone support as a key component of the intervention (subjective determination);
usual care as provided by the usual care provider for the control group;
RCTs, CCTs, systematic reviews, and/or meta-analyses;
published between January 1, 2000 and November 3, 2010.
Exclusion Criteria
published in a language other than English;
intervention group (and not control) receiving some form of home visits by a medical professional, typically a nurse (i.e., telenursing) beyond initial technology set-up and education, to collect physiological data, or to somehow manage or treat the patient;
not recording patient or health system outcomes (e.g., technical reports testing accuracy, reliability or other development-related outcomes of a device, acceptability/feasibility studies, etc.);
not using an independent control group that received usual care (e.g., studies employing historical or periodic controls).
Outcomes of Interest
hospitalizations (primary outcome)
mortality
emergency department visits
length of stay
quality of life
other […]
Subgroup Analyses (a priori)
length of intervention (primary)
severity of COPD (primary)
Quality of Evidence
The quality of evidence assigned to individual studies was determined using a modified CONSORT Statement Checklist for Randomized Controlled Trials. (1) The CONSORT Statement was adapted to include 3 additional quality measures: the adequacy of control group description, significant differential loss to follow-up between groups, and greater than or equal to 30% study attrition. Individual study quality was defined based on total scores according to the CONSORT Statement checklist: very low (0 to < 40%), low (≥ 40 to < 60%), moderate (≥ 60 to < 80%), and high (≥ 80 to 100%).
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Six publications, representing 5 independent trials, met the eligibility criteria for Research Question #1. Three trials were RCTs reported across 4 publications, whereby patients were randomized to home telemonitoring or usual care, and 2 trials were CCTs, whereby patients or health care centers were nonrandomly assigned to intervention or usual care.
A total of 310 participants were studied across the 5 included trials. The mean age of study participants in the included trials ranged from 61.2 to 74.5 years for the intervention group and 61.1 to 74.5 years for the usual care group. The percentage of men ranged from 40% to 64% in the intervention group and 46% to 72% in the control group.
All 5 trials were performed in a moderate to severe COPD patient population. Three trials initiated the intervention following discharge from hospital. One trial initiated the intervention following a pulmonary rehabilitation program. The final trial initiated the intervention during management of patients at an outpatient clinic.
Four of the 5 trials included oxygen saturation (i.e., pulse oximetry) as one of the biological patient parameters being monitored. Additional parameters monitored included forced expiratory volume in one second, peak expiratory flow, and temperature.
There was considerable clinical heterogeneity between trials in study design, methods, and intervention/control. In relation to the telemonitoring intervention, 3 of the 5 included studies used an electronic health hub that performed multiple functions beyond the monitoring of biological parameters. One study used only a pulse oximeter device alone with modem capabilities. Finally, in 1 study, patients measured and then forwarded biological data to a nurse during a televideo consultation. Usual care varied considerably between studies.
Only one trial met the eligibility criteria for Research Question #2. The included trial was an RCT that randomized 60 patients to nurse telephone follow-up or usual care (no telephone follow-up). Participants were recruited from the medical department of an acute-care hospital in Hong Kong and began receiving follow-up after discharge from the hospital with a diagnosis of COPD (no severity restriction). The intervention itself consisted of only two 10-to 20-minute telephone calls, once between days 3 to 7 and once between days 14 to 20, involving a structured, individualized educational and supportive programme led by a nurse that focused on 3 components: assessment, management options, and evaluation.
Regarding Research Question #1:
Low to very low quality evidence (according to GRADE) finds non-significant effects or conflicting effects (of significant or non-significant benefit) for all outcomes examined when comparing home telemonitoring to usual care.
There is a trend towards significant increase in time free of hospitalization and use of other health care services with home telemonitoring, but these findings need to be confirmed further in randomized trials of high quality.
There is severe clinical heterogeneity between studies that limits summary conclusions.
The economic impact of home telemonitoring is uncertain and requires further study.
Home telemonitoring is largely dependent on local information technologies, infrastructure, and personnel, and thus the generalizability of external findings may be low. Jurisdictions wishing to replicate home telemonitoring interventions should likely test those interventions within their jurisdictional framework before adoption, or should focus on home-grown interventions that are subjected to appropriate evaluation and proven effective.
Regarding Research Question #2:
Low quality evidence finds significant benefit in favour of telephone-only support for self-efficacy and emergency department visits when compared to usual care, but non-significant results for hospitalizations and hospital length of stay.
There are very serious issues with the generalizability of the evidence and thus additional research is required.
PMCID: PMC3384362  PMID: 23074421

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