Background: Little is known about the effectiveness of interventions to disseminate smoking cessation interventions among a population of primary care physicians. This study's objective was to determine the effect of a community-based academic detailing intervention on the quit rates of a population-based sample of smokers.
Methods: This community-based, quasi-experimental study involved representative samples of 259 primary care physicians and 4295 adult smokers. An academic detailing intervention was delivered to physicians in intervention areas over a period of 15 months. Analyses were performed on the data from the 2346 subjects who reported at least one physician visit over 24 months. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to determine the impact of the intervention on self-reported smoking quit rates, reported by adjusted odds ratios.
Results: Among smokers reporting a physician visit during the study period, there was a borderline significant effect for those residing in intervention areas versus control areas (OR = 1.35; 95% CI.99-1.83; P = 0.057). Among a subgroup of 819 smokers who reported a visit with an enrolled physician, we observed a significant effect for those residing in intervention areas (OR = 1.80; 95% CI 1.16-2.75; P = 0.008).
Conclusion: An academic detailing intervention to enhance physician delivered smoking cessation counseling is an effective strategy for disseminating smoking cessation interventions among community-based practices.