Process of counseling support persons to promote smoker treatment utilization

Tabetha A. Brockman, Christi A. Patten, Christina M. Smith, Christine A. Hughes, Pamela S. Sinicrope, Sarah M. Bonnema, Paul A. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This qualitative study describes the process of providing a telephone intervention for adult non-smoking support persons to motivate and encourage a smoker to call the QUITPLAN Helpline. The intervention consisted of written materials and three consecutive, weekly, 1530min telephone sessions. Themes, issues, and concerns were summarized using content analysis. Participants were 212 support persons (94 female, 93 Caucasian) who completed at least one session. The intervention had a reported positive impact on participants' understanding of the process of quitting smoking. The concept of readiness to quit including the Contemplation Ladder as a visual aid, education on nicotine dependence, and learning to recognize and reinforce small steps toward quitting or seeking help to quit were valuable tools to help participants understand their smoker's behavior, determine where the smoker was in the process of quitting and to use appropriate support strategies. Common issues and concerns raised are described along with strategies counselors used to address these during sessions. In addition, quantitative data on the types of goals and strategies used by support persons to motivate their smoker toward calling the Helpline and quitting are summarized. The themes of this study, along with counselor responses and suggestions, as well as goals and strategies used by support persons, could help providers to effectively guide and support non-smokers who want to help someone seek treatment to quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-479
Number of pages14
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Intervention
  • Quitlines
  • Smoking cessation
  • Social networks
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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