Psychosocial interventions for smoking cessation in patients with coronary heart disease

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Background: Quitting smoking improves prognosis after a cardiac event, but many patients continue to smoke, and improved cessation aids are urgently required. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions such as behavioural therapeutic intervention, telephone support and self-help interventions in helping people with coronary heart disease (CHD) to quit smoking. Search strategy: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (issue 2 2003), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and PSYNDEX were searched from the start of the database to August 2003. Results were supplemented by cross-checking references, and handsearches in selected journals and systematic reviews. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled studies (RCTs) in patients with CHD with a minimum follow-up of 6 months. After initial selection of the studies three trials with methodological flaws (e.g. high drop out) were excluded. Data collection and analysis: Abstinence rates were computed according to an intention to treat analysis if possible, or if not on follow-up results only. Main results: We found 16 RCTs meeting inclusion criteria. Interventions consist of behavioural therapeutic approaches, telephone support and self-help material and were either focused on smoking cessation alone or addressed several risk factors. The trials mostly included oldermale patients with CHD, predominantly myocardial infarction. Overall there was a positive effect of interventions on abstinence after 6 to 12 months (odds ratio (OR) 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25 to 2.22), but substantial heterogeneity between trials. Studies with validated assessment of smoking status at follow-up had lower efficacy (OR 1.44, 95% CI 0.99 to 2.11) than non-validated trials (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.93). Studies were clustered by intervention strategy and intensity of the intervention. Clustering reduced heterogeneity, although many trials used more than one type of intervention. The ORs for different strategies were similar (behavioural therapies OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.33 to 2.14; telephone support OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.28 to 1.97; self-help OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.96). More intense interventions showed increased quit rates (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.49 to 2.65) whereas brief interventions did not appear effective (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.22). Two trials had longer term follow-up, and did not show any benefits after 5 years. Authors' conclusions: Psychosocial smoking cessation interventions are effective in promoting abstinence at 1 year, provided they are of sufficient duration. Further studies, with longer follow-up, should compare different psychosocial intervention strategies, or the addition of a psychosocial intervention strategy to pharmacological therapy (e.g. nicotine replacement therapy) compared with pharmacological treatment alone. Copyright © 2008 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Barth, J., Critchley, J., & Bengel, J. (2008). Psychosocial interventions for smoking cessation in patients with coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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