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: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00628225.
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