Objective: To compare smoking abstinence outcomes between smokers treated in a residential (inpatient) program and those treated in an outpatient program to determine if residential treatment was superior to outpatient treatment in smokers with moderate to severe nicotine dependence. Patients and Methods: Patients treated in the residential nicotine dependence program at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, between May 1, 1992, and January 31, 1996, were selected for this study. Each patient in the residential treatment group (n=146) was matched to 2 patients who received an outpatient nicotine dependence consultation by a trained counselor (n=292). Each patient was matched on age, sex, year seen, number of cigarettes smoked per day, longest previous abstinence, education, and marital status. Abstinence at 6 and 12 months was determined by self-report. For the purposes of analysis, each patient with missing outcome data was considered to be smoking. Results: The 6-month abstinence rates for the residential group compared with the outpatient group were 45% and 26%, respectively (P<.001), and the 12-month abstinence rates were 45% and 23%, respectively (P<.001). After adjusting for matching variables that were not exactly matched (age, baseline number of cigarettes smoked per day, and longest previous abstinence) and the baseline variables, including education, age when started smoking, and degree of nicotine dependence, there was a significant effect of residential treatment on 6- and 12-month abstinence rates (P<.001). Odds ratio of 6-month abstinence in the residential group was 2.74 (95% confidence interval, 1.60-4.71; P<.001) and at 12 months was 3.03 (95% confidence interval, 1.74-5.27; P<.001). Conclusion: Residential treatment for tobacco dependence is superior to outpatient treatment in some smokers who are moderately to severely nicotine dependent.
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