TitleImproving smoking cessation counseling using a point-of-care health intervention tool (IT): from the Virginia Practice Support and Research Network (VaPSRN).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsStrayer, SM, Heim, SW, Rollins, LK, Bovbjerg, ML, Nadkarni, M, Waters, DB, Hauck, FR, Schorling, JB
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM
Date Published03/2013

PURPOSE: Primary care practices are an ideal setting for reducing national smoking rates because >70% of smokers visit their physician annually, yet smoking cessation counseling is inconsistently delivered to patients. We designed and created a novel software program for handheld computers and hypothesized that it would improve clinicians' ability to provide patient-tailored smoking cessation counseling at the point of care. METHODS: A handheld computer software program was created based on smoking cessation guidelines and an adaptation of widely accepted behavioral change theories. The tool was evaluated using a validated before/after survey to measure physician smoking cessation counseling behaviors, knowledge, and comfort/self-efficacy. RESULTS: Participants included 17 physicians (mean age, 41 years; 71% male; 5 resident physicians) from a practice-based research network. After 4 months of use in direct patient care, physicians were more likely to advise patients to stop smoking (P = .049) and reported an increase in use of the "5 As" (P = .03). Improved self-efficacy in counseling patients regarding smoking cessation (P = .006) was seen, as was increased comfort in providing follow-up to patients (P = .04). CONCLUSIONS: Use of a handheld computer software tool improved smoking cessation counseling among physicians and shows promise for translating evidence about smoking cessation counseling into practice and educational settings.