The effectiveness of callback counselling for smoking cessation: a randomized trial

Borland, Ron, Segan, Catherine J., Livingston, Patricia and Owen, Neville 2001, The effectiveness of callback counselling for smoking cessation: a randomized trial, Addiction, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 881-889, doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.9668819.x.

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Title The effectiveness of callback counselling for smoking cessation: a randomized trial
Author(s) Borland, Ron
Segan, Catherine J.
Livingston, PatriciaORCID iD for Livingston, Patricia
Owen, Neville
Journal name Addiction
Volume number 96
Issue number 6
Start page 881
End page 889
Publisher Wiley Interscience
Place of publication Malden, Mass.
Publication date 2001-06
ISSN 0965-2140
Summary Aims. The development of acceptable, widely available and effective smoking cessation methods is central to public health strategy for tobacco control. We examined the effectiveness of a telephone callback counselling intervention, compared to the provision of self-help resources alone.

Methods. Participants were 998 smokers calling a state-wide "Quitline" service randomly allocated to either callback counselling or ordinary care. The callback condition consisted of a series of brief counselling calls at strategic times in addition to ordinary care. The number of calls varied according to caller needs, and most occurred generally just before the person's quit day and in the week or two after it. The service was delivered by trained telephone counsellors.

Results. At the 3-month follow-up, significantly more participants in the callback group (24%) reported that they were quit, compared to those in the usual care comparison group (13%). The difference in point prevalence of smoking declined to 6% by the 12-month follow-up. Using sustained abstinence there was a significant benefit of callback counselling at 12-month follow-up. Treating dropouts as smokers reduced the overall magnitude of the effects somewhat. The benefit of callbacks was to marginally increase quit attempts and to significantly reduce relapse.

Conclusion. Our findings are consistent with those of other studies demonstrating benefits of callback telephone counselling to facilitate cessation. Such counselling provides a flexible, relatively inexpensive and widely available form of cessation service. It appears to encourage a greater proportion of quit attempts and to reduce the rate of relapse among those quitting. Further research is required to determine ways to enhance effectiveness, particularly studies of how to reduce relapse.
Notes Published Online: 3 May 2002
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.9668819.x
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Society for the Study of Addiction
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