Telephone-based smoking cessation services (‘quitlines’) are both effective and cost-effective. Knowledge of modifiable baseline factors in real-life settings with heterogeneous participants is essential for the development and improvement of treatment protocols to assist in telephone-based smoking cessation. The aim was to assess if self-perceived abilities to cope measured at baseline, would predict abstinence at the 12-month follow-up at the Swedish National Tobacco Quitline (SNTQ).
The data were retrieved from a previous randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of proactive and reactive service at the SNTQ. Included were 612 clients calling the SNTQ between February 2009 and September 2010. Outcome measures were self-reported point prevalence and 6-month continuous abstinence at the 12-month follow-up. Plausible predictors of smoking cessation were assessed at the first call and in a baseline questionnaire. Self-perceived abilities at baseline were measured by two questions: (1) How likely is it that you will be smoke-free in one year? and (2) How likely are you to be able to handle stress and depressive mood without smoking? The associations between potential predictors and outcome (smoke-free at 12-month follow-up) were assessed by logistic regression analysis.
Of the two potential predictors for abstinence at 12-month follow-up, only the perceived ability to handle stress and depressive mood without smoking remained significant in the adjusted analyses (Odds Ratio, OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.00–1.27 for point prevalence and OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.01–1.33 for 6-month continuous abstinence according to intention-to-treat). The overall strongest predictor in the adjusted analyses was smoking status in the week before baseline (OR 3.30, 95% CI 1.79–6.09 for point prevalence and OR 3.97, 95% CI 2.01–7.83 for 6-month continuous abstinence).
The perceived ability to handle stress and depressive mood without smoking at baseline predicted the subjects’ abstinence at the 12-month follow-up. An assessment of/adjustment for stress and depressive mood coping skills may be appropriate in future smoking cessation treatment and research. The treatment protocol can be tailored to individual differences and needs for optimal support.
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02085616. Registered March 10, 2014, ‘retrospectively registered’.