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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Telephone Counseling for Smoking Cessation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Stead LF, Hartmann-Boyce J, Perera R, Lancaster T. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 12;8:CD002850.

This is the most recent Cochrane review of telephone counseling (most recent search May 2013). The review assessed the effect of proactive and reactive support to callers to smoking cessation helplines. Randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials were included in which proactive or reactive telephone counseling to help people quit was offered to smokers or recent quitters. The authors conclude that proactive telephone counseling helps smokers seeking help from quitlines. Callback counseling (proactive support, where counselors make outbound calls to tobacco users) enhances quitlines’ usefulness. There is limited evidence about the optimal number of calls to offer. There is some evidence of a dose response; one or two brief calls are less likely to provide a measurable benefit. Offering three or more calls increase the chances of quitting compared to a minimal intervention such as providing standard self-help materials, or brief advice, or compared to quitting medicines alone.

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