Effectiveness of Two Community Health Worker Models of Tobacco Dependence Treatment Among Community Residents of Ohio Appalachia.

Wewers ME, Shoben A, Conroy S, Curry E, Ferketich AK, Murray DM, Nemeth J, Wermert A
Nicotine Tob Res 19 1499-1507 11/07/2017

Abstract

Introduction: Community health workers (CHW) may be effective in the delivery of tobacco dependence treatment with underserved groups. This study evaluated two evidence-based CHW models of treatment. It was hypothesized that smokers assigned to a CHW face-to-face condition would have higher abstinence at 12-month posttreatment than smokers enrolled in CHW referral to a state-sponsored quitline condition. Intrapersonal and treatment-related factors associated with abstinence at 12 months were determined.

Methods: A group-randomized trial was conducted with residents of 12 Ohio Appalachian counties with counties (n = 6) randomized to either a CHW face-to-face (F2F) or CHW quitline (QL) condition. Both conditions included behavioral counseling and free nicotine replacement therapy for 8 weeks. Follow-up data were collected at 3-, 6-, and 12-month posttreatment. Biochemically validated abstinence at 12 months served as the primary outcome.

Results: Seven hundred and seven participants were enrolled (n = 353 CHWF2F; n = 354 CHWQL). Baseline sample characteristics did not differ by condition. Using an intent-to-treat analysis (85.4% retention at 12 months), 13.3% of CHWF2F participants were abstinent at 12 months, compared to 10.7% of CHWQL members (OR = 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.810, 2.014; p = .292). No differences in abstinence were noted at 3 or 6 months by condition. Age, marital status, and baseline levels of cigarette consumption, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy for quitting in positive settings were associated with abstinence, as was counseling dose during treatment.

Conclusions: This research adds to the body of science evaluating the effectiveness of CHW models of tobacco dependence treatment. Both approaches may offer promise in low-resource settings and underserved regions.

Implications: This 12-county community-based group-randomized trial in Ohio Appalachia adds to the body of science evaluating the effectiveness of CHW models of tobacco dependence treatment. Both CHW approaches may offer promise in low-resource settings and underserved regions. These findings are useful to national, state, and local tobacco control agencies, as they expand delivery of preventive health care services postadoption of the Affordable Care Act in the United States.

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