General practice counseling for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to quit smoking: impact after 1 year of two complex interventions

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Apr;83(1):120-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.04.009. Epub 2010 Apr 28.


Objective: To evaluate two counseling programs in general practice to help smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to quit smoking.

Methods: Cluster randomized controlled trial including 68 general practices (667 patients) using a randomly assigned intervention program with counseling and advice about nicotine replacement therapy (and additional bupropion-SR in one of the programs) or usual care. Usual care consisted of periodic regular check-ups and COPD information. The main outcome measure was biochemically verified point prevalence at 12 months.

Results: The two intervention groups were treated as one in the analysis because they were equally effective. The intervention resulted in a significantly self-reported higher success rate (14.5%) compared to usual care (7.4%); odds ratio=2.1, 95% confidence interval=1.1-4.1. Biochemically verified quit rates were 7.5% (intervention) and 3.4% (usual care); odds ratio=2.3, 95% confidence interval=0.9-6.0.

Conclusion: The program doubled the cessation rates (statistically nonsignificant). Too few participants used the additional bupropion-SR to prove its effectiveness.

Practice implications: The protocols can be used for COPD patients in general practice, but expectations should be modest. If quitting is unsuccessful, a stepped care approach should be considered.

Trial registration: NCT00628225.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • General Practice / organization & administration
  • General Practitioners / education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Time Factors


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine

Associated data