Background: Family physicians (FPs) in Australia underutilize effective strategies to help patients stop smoking. We conducted a cluster randomization trial to evaluate a multifaceted, practice-based intervention involving audit, feedback, and academic detailing to improve FP smoking cessation advice.
Methods: Sixty FPs in 39 practices participated. FPs' provision of smoking cessation advice was measured by patient recall, medical record audit, and FP self-report. Logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations was performed to assess improvements in practice, after adjustment for clustering by practice.
Results: Improvements between baseline and posttest in patient recall of FP advice about nicotine replacement patches and gum were significantly greater in the intervention than in the control group (P = 0.0056 and P = 0.0002, respectively). While there were substantial increases in patient recall of assessment of smoking status and FP use of "quit dates," behavioral advice, and written materials in the intervention group, these changes were not significantly greater than those in the control group. Notation of patients' smoking status and smoking cessation advice in medical records remained suboptimal in both groups.
Conclusions: This multifaceted intervention was successful only in promoting FPs' use of nicotine replacement therapy. While the use of other effective cessation strategies appeared to increase, a larger trial is needed for further evaluation.