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Editorials |

Enhancing the Effect of Telephone Quitline Counseling Through Proactive Call-Back Counseling

Lori Pbert, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Lori Pbert, PhD, Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655; e-mail: Lori.pbert@umassmed.edu

Affiliations: Dr. Pbert is Associate Professor of Medicine, Director, Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(5):1199-1200. doi:10.1378/chest.09-1081
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In the current issue of CHEST (see page 1229), Sood and colleagues1 report on the outcome of a randomized controlled trial evaluating reactive telephone smoking-cessation counseling compared with the provision of mailed self-help materials on 7-day point prevalence quit rates at up to 12-month follow-up. The authors found no significant differences in abstinence rates between the two randomized groups and concluded that supplemental reactive telephone counseling did not provide better smoking-cessation outcomes than the use of self-help educational materials alone. They suggest that reactive telephone counseling, which relies on the smoker to initiate calls to a helpline or quitline for assistance with quitting smoking, may be inadequate possibly due to its infrequent use and recommend that consideration be given to incorporating a call-back counseling approach to reactive telephone counseling. Call-back or proactive counseling involves counselors actively calling smokers who initially contact a smoking-cessation quitline with a call-back schedule tailored to the individual's needs, including during the preparation process and peak relapse risk periods.

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