Evaluating nicotine replacement therapy and stage-based therapies in a population-based effectiveness trial

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Pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation are typically evaluated using volunteer samples (efficacy trials) but should also be evaluated in population-based trials (effectiveness trials). Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone and in combination with behavioral interventions was evaluated on a population of smokers from a New England Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Telephone interviews were completed with 3,239 smokers, and 2,054 agreed to participate (64%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: stage-matched manuals (MAN); NRT plus manuals (NRT + MAN); expert system plus NRT and manuals (EXP + NRT + MAN); and automated counseling plus NRT, manuals, and expert system (TEL + EXP + NRT + MAN). Assessments were completed at baseline, 10, 20, and 30 months. The point prevalence cessation rates at final follow-up (30 months) were MAN, 20.3%; NRT + MAN, 19.3%; EXP + NRT + MAN, 17.6%; and TEL + EXP + NRT + MAN, 19.9%. Stage-matched manuals provided cessation rates comparable with previous studies. The addition of NRT, expert system interventions, and automated telephone counseling failed to produce a further increase in intervention effectiveness. © 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology