Randomized controlled trial of a social support ('buddy') intervention for smoking cessation

  • S. M
  • R. W
  • P. H
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of including a social support intervention ('buddy system') in a group treatment programme to aid smoking cessation., METHODS: Five hundred and sixty-three smokers attended groups at a smokers' clinic. These groups were randomized either to be (a) groups in which smokers were paired with another person to provide mutual support (buddy condition: n=237 in 14 groups) or (b) to receive the same treatment without the buddy component (control: n=326 in 20 groups). Participants were seen weekly for the first 4 weeks after stopping then followed up again after 26 weeks., RESULTS: Smokers in the buddy condition were no more likely than smokers in the control condition to stay abstinent at 1, 4 or 26 weeks. The effect was in the right direction at week one post-quit but after controlling for potential confounders the difference was not significant (odds ratio=1.45 (95% CI; 0.92-2.29), p=0.06)., CONCLUSIONS: We were unable to show that a buddy system improved abstinence rates of group treatment programmes. This might be due to the high level of social support already achieved through the groups., PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The buddy system is a simple and very low cost addition to a group treatment programme; but the results from this study suggest that the kind of buddy system tested may not add substantially to the success rates. However there may be merits in a more intensive or protracted form of buddying.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Interpersonal Relations
  • *Peer Group
  • *Self-Help Groups/og [Organization & Administratio
  • *Smoking Cessation
  • *Smoking/pc [Prevention & Control]
  • *Social Support
  • *smoking cessation
  • *social support
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breath Tests
  • Carbon Dioxide/an [Analysis]
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • England
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research Design
  • Smoking Cessation/mt [Methods]
  • Smoking Cessation/px [Psychology]
  • Smoking/me [Metabolism]
  • Smoking/px [Psychology]
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • adult
  • article
  • clinical trial
  • confidence interval
  • controlled clinical trial
  • controlled study
  • female
  • human
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • priority journal
  • randomized controlled trial
  • risk
  • smoking

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  • May S.

  • West R.

  • Hajek P.

  • McEwen A.

  • Sylvia May

  • Robert West

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