An expert system intervention for smoking cessation

Document Type


Date of Original Version



The Pathways to Change system (PTC) is an expert system intervention for smoking cessation. Assessments are performed either by mail or by a telephone interview and each smoker receives a three- to four-page report that provides individualized recommendations matched to the individual's needs and readiness-to-change. The Transtheoretical Model of Change provides the theoretical basis for the expert system. Four different studies have demonstrated the efficacy of this intervention in a general population, with cessation rates of 22 to 26%. Furthermore, the difference between the groups was larger at each follow-up assessment point, indicating that the effects of the treatment increased long after the end of treatment. The studies involved two proactively recruited samples, demonstrating that a large proportion (85.3% and 82.5%) of the population of smokers could be successfully recruited into a smoking cessation program. Expert system interventions have the potential to have an extremely high impact on a total population of smokers. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Patient Education and Counseling