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Predicting Engagement in Smoking Cessation Treatment Following a Brief Telephone Evaluation and Referral Session


Introduction: Smoking cessation treatment combining medication and counselling yields the best outcomes; however, few smokers employ both modalities.Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine variables predicting treatment attendance.Methods: This was a chart review of US military Veterans (N = 340; 89% male, 59% non-Hispanic white) referred for smoking cessation, who completed a telephone call to encourage treatment utilization. Treatment engagement was defined as attending a smoking cessation session within 30 days following telephone contact. A logistic regression analysis examined predictors (demographics, smoking variables, and psychiatric diagnoses) of treatment engagement.Results/Findings: Greater age (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.06), more cigarettes (OR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.00–1.06), and higher perceived importance of quitting (OR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.00–1.23) predicted engaging in treatment within 30 days (all p values < 0.05).Conclusion: Veterans who attended treatment were older, smoked more cigarettes, and perceived quitting as more important than those who did not attend. These findings are consistent with prior studies examining factors associated with treatment utilization. Results highlight the need to identify strategies for engaging into treatment smokers who are younger, smoke fewer cigarettes, and view quitting as less important.

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