Evaluating three theory-based interventions to increase physicians' recommendations of smoking cessation services

Health Psychol. 2009 Mar;28(2):174-82. doi: 10.1037/a0013783.


Objective: To evaluate three theory-based interventions aimed at increasing the rate at which primary care physicians recommend smoking cessation services to smokers.

Design: Primary care physicians (n = 251) were randomized to one of four conditions: (a) information based on social cognitive theory (SCT) targeting outcome expectations, (b) information based on SCT + elaboration likelihood model, (c) feedback based on self-perception theory, or (d) control.

Main outcome measures: Intentions to recommend and self-reported recommendations of smoking cessation services 1 week postintervention.

Results: Data were analyzed using covariance and mean structure analysis. Compared with the control group, only the SCT group reported more frequently recommending services (mean difference = 1.1 recommendations per week, Cohen's d = 0.46) and higher intentions. Mediation analysis was consistent with increased intentions resulting from changes in outcome expectations. There was no evidence that changes in intentions explained self-reported behavior change.

Conclusion: The study provides preliminary "proof of principle" for further studies incorporating more robust outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Education*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician's Role / psychology*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Self Efficacy
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom