Health Services Research & Development

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Danan ER, Fu SS, Clothier BA, Noorbaloochi S, Hammett PJ, Widome R, Burgess DJ. The Equity Impact of Proactive Outreach to Smokers: Analysis of a Randomized Trial. American journal of preventive medicine. 2018 Oct 1; 55(4):506-516.
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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Population-based smoking-cessation services tend to preferentially benefit high-SES smokers, potentially exacerbating disparities. Interventions that include proactive outreach, telephone counseling, and free or low-cost cessation medications may be more likely to help low-SES smokers quit. This analysis evaluated the role of SES in smokers' response to a population-based proactive smoking-cessation intervention. METHODS: This study, conducted in 2016 and 2017, was a secondary analysis of the Veterans Victory Over Tobacco Study, a multicenter pragmatic RCT of a proactive smoking-cessation intervention conducted from 2009 to 2011. Logistic regression modeling was used to test the effect of income or education level on 6-month prolonged abstinence at 1-year follow-up. RESULTS: Of the 5,123 eligible, randomized participants, 2,565 (50%) reported their education level and 2,430 (47%) reported their income level. The interactions between education (p=0.07) or income (p=0.74) X treatment arm were not statistically significant at the 0.05 level. The largest effect sizes for the intervention were found among smokers in the lowest education category (=11th grade), with a quit rate of 17.3% as compared with 5.7% in usual care (OR=3.5, 95% CI=1.4, 8.6) and in the lowest income range (<$10,000), with a quit rate of 18.7% as compared with 9.4% in usual care (OR=2.2, 95% CI=1.2, 4.0). CONCLUSIONS: In a large, multicenter smoking-cessation trial, proactive outreach was associated with higher rates of prolonged abstinence among smokers at all SES levels. Proactive outreach interventions that integrate telephone-based care and facilitated cessation medication access have the potential to reduce socioeconomic disparities in quitting. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00608426.