Objectives: Using a brief contact control, we tested the efficacy of a staged care intervention to reduce cigarette smoking among psychiatric patients in outpatient treatment for depression.
Methods: We conducted a randomized clinical trial that included assessments at baseline and at months 3, 6, 12, and 18. Three hundred twenty-two patients in mental health outpatient treatment who were diagnosed with depression and smoked > or =1 cigarette per day participated. The desire to quit smoking was not a prerequisite for participation. Staged care intervention participants received computerized motivational feedback at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months and were offered a 6-session psychological counseling and pharmacological cessation treatment program. Brief contact control participants received a self-help guide and referral list of local smoking-treatment providers.
Results: As we hypothesized, abstinence rates among staged care intervention participants exceeded those of brief contact control participants at months 12 and 18. Significant differences favoring staged care intervention also were found in occurrence of a quit attempt and stringency of abstinence goal.
Conclusion: The data suggest that individuals in psychiatric treatment for depression can be aided in quitting smoking through use of staged care interventions and that smoking cessation interventions used in the general population can be implemented in psychiatric outpatient settings.