Objective: Despite extremely high rates of smoking among individuals with psychotic disorders and the associated financial and health costs, few studies have investigated the efficacy of smoking cessation interventions among this group. The purpose of this study was to compare an integrated psychological and nicotine replacement therapy intervention for people with a psychotic disorder with routine care alone.
Method: The authors recruited 298 regular smokers with a psychotic disorder residing in the community and randomly assigned them to a routine care comparison condition (N=151) or an eight-session, individually administered smoking cessation intervention (N=147), which consisted of nicotine replacement therapy, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavior therapy. Outcome variables included continuous and point-prevalence abstinence rates, smoking reduction status, and changes in symptoms and functioning.
Results: While there were no overall differences between the treatment group and comparison group in abstinence rates, a significantly higher proportion of smokers who completed all treatment sessions stopped smoking at each of the follow-up occasions (point-prevalence rates: 3 months, 30.0% versus 6.0%; 6 months, 18.6% versus 4.0%; and 12 months, 18.6% versus 6.6%). Smokers who completed all treatment sessions were also more likely to have achieved continuous abstinence at 3 months (21.4% versus 4.0%). There was a strong dose-response relationship between treatment session attendance and smoking reduction status, with one-half of those who completed the intervention program achieving a 50% or greater reduction in daily cigarette consumption across the follow-ups, relative to less than one-fifth of the comparison subjects. There was no evidence of any associated deterioration in symptoms or functioning.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the utility of a nicotine replacement therapy plus motivational interviewing/cognitive behavior therapy smoking cessation intervention among individuals with a psychotic disorder. Further development of more efficacious interventions is required for those who do not respond to existing interventions.