Strategies for Referring Cancer Patients in a Smoking Cessation Program.
Most people who smoke and develop cancer are unable to quit smoking. To address this, many cancer centers have now opened smoking cessation programs specifically designed to help cancer patients to quit. An important question has now emerged-what is the most effective approach for engaging smokers within a cancer center in these smoking cessation programs? We report outcomes from a retrospective observational study comparing three referral methods-traditional referral, best practice advisory (BPA), and direct outreach-on utilization of the Duke Cancer Center Smoking Cessation Program. We found that program utilization rate was higher for direct outreach (5.4%) than traditional referral (0.8%), p < 0.001, and BPA (0.2%); p < 0.001. Program utilization was 6.4% for all methods combined. Inferring a causal relationship between referral method and program utilization was not possible because the study did not use a randomized design. Innovation is needed to generate higher utilization rates for cancer center smoking cessation programs.
Davis, JM; Thomas, LC; Dirkes, JEH; Swartzwelder, HS
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