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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Community-based Navigators for Tobacco Cessation Treatment: A Proof-of-concept Pilot Study Among Low

Monday, August 24, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Levinson AH, Valverde P, Garrett K, Kimminau M, Burns EK, Albright K, Flynn D.
Community-based Navigators for Tobacco Cessation Treatment: A Proof-of-concept Pilot Study Among Low-income Smokers.
BMC Public Health. 2015 Jul 9;15(1):627. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1962-4.
A majority of continuing smokers in the United States are socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED) adults, who are less likely than others to achieve and maintain abstinence despite comparable quit-attempt rates. A national research initiative seeks effective new strategies for increasing successful smoking cessation outcomes among SED populations. There is evidence that chronic and acute stressors may interfere with SED smokers who try to quit on their own. Patient navigators have been effectively used to improve adherence to chronic disease treatment. We designed and have pilot-tested an innovative, non-clinical community-based intervention - smoking cessation treatment navigators - to determine feasibility (acceptance, adherence, and uncontrolled results) for evaluation by randomized controlled trial (RCT). The intervention was developed for smokers among parents and other household members of inner city pre-school for low-income children. Smoking cessation treatment navigators were trained and deployed to help participants choose and adhere to evidence-based cessation treatment (EBCT). Navigators provided empathy, resource-linking, problem-solving, and motivational reinforcement. Measures included rates of study follow-up completion, EBCT utilization, navigation participation, perceived intervention quality, 7-day point abstinence and longest abstinence at three months. Both complete-case and intent-to-treat analyses were performed.

Eighty-five percent of study participants (n = 40) completed final data collection. More than half (53 %) enrolled in a telephone quitline and nearly three-fourths (71 %) initiated nicotine replacement therapy. Participants completed a mean 3.4 navigation sessions (mean 30 min duration) and gave the intervention very high quality and satisfaction ratings. Self-reported abstinence was comparable to rates for evidence-based cessation strategies (21 % among study completers, 18 % using intent-to-treat analysis; median 21 days abstinent among relapsers). The pilot results suggest that smoking cessation treatment navigators are feasible to study in community settings and are well-accepted for increasing use of EBCT among low-income smokers. Randomized controlled trial for efficacy is warranted.

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