Background: Effective cessation services are greatly underutilized by smokers. Only about 1.5% of smokers in Minnesota utilize the state-funded QUITPLAN® Helpline. Substantial evidence exists on the role of social support in smoking cessation. In preparation for a large randomized trial, this study developed and piloted an intervention for an adult nonsmoking support person to motivate and encourage a smoker to call the QUITPLAN Helpline. Methods: The support person intervention was developed based on Cohen's theory of social support. It consisted of written materials and three consecutive, weekly, 20-30 minute telephone sessions. Smoker calls to the QUITPLAN Helpline were documented by intake staff. Results: Participants were 30 support people (93% women, 97% Caucasian, mean age 49). High rates of treatment compliance were observed, with 28 (93%) completing all three telephone sessions. The intervention was ranked as somewhat or very helpful by 77% of the support people, and 97% would definitely or probably recommend the program. Five smokers linked to a support person called the QUITPLAN Helpline. Conclusions: An intervention using natural support networks to promote smoker utilization of the QUITPLAN Helpline is both acceptable to a support person and feasible. A controlled randomized trial is under way to examine the efficacy of the intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health