Background: Smoking cessation of patients with cancer can improve treatment efficacy and survival.
Objective: To determine whether a motivational interviewing intervention increased successful smoking cessation attempts of patients with cancer attending a South Australian public hospital, as compared with usual care.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was used to study 137 patients with mixed cancer sites, including 74 intervention patients and 63 control patients. The motivational interviewing intervention was delivered over a 3-month period. The intervention included a visit with a smoking cessation counselor, provision of smoking cessation booklets, nicotine replacement therapy, family advice to quit, and an in-person or telephone follow-up conversation.
Results: At the 6-month follow-up visit, an intention-to-treat analysis found no difference in biochemically confirmed 3-month prevalence quit rates between the intervention (5%) and control (6%) groups. A sensitivity analysis using more lenient criteria indicated quit rates of 29% for the intervention group and 18% for the control group (p = .32). The predictors of smoking cessation at 6 months for all the patients included a smoking-related cancer site, more cessation attempts in the year before enrollment in the study, and no radiation therapy.
Conclusions: Future efforts to improve smoking cessation in this patient group might focus on the delivery of more direct methods for encouraging spouse cessation and support to the patient in quitting, and the use of bupropion (Zyban) as an adjunct to cessation for this heavy smoking patient group.