Background: Until recently, Dutch general practitioners contributed little to tobacco control. This is due to several factors, among which is the lack of a feasible intervention program for adult smokers. Such a minimal contact behavioral intervention, using the Stage-of-Change concept, is now available. Effectiveness was tested in a randomized trial.
Method: Twenty-two general practitioners and their practice assistants were trained in applying the program. In all, 530 smoking patients were enrolled, randomly assigned to either the intervention or the usual treatment condition. Analysis of treatment effects was performed with logistic regression analysis. In a backward stepwise procedure confounding effects of baseline differences were eliminated.
Results: At 12-month follow-up, self-reported abstinence rates (including nonrespondents as smokers) differed significantly between intervention subjects and controls: 13.4 vs 7.3% point prevalence (odds ratio 1.51, P < 0.05). An analysis of consecutive abstinence, defined as being abstinent at both 6- and 12-month follow-up, showed that 8.2% of the intervention group compared to 3.1% of the controls had sustained abstinence for more than 6 months (odds ratio 3.04, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Results indicate that an effective smoking cessation program for use in Dutch general practice, already shown to be feasible, is now available. Outcomes are generally consistent with recent international literature.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.