PURPOSE: Several factors identified early in the quitting process can suggest future success or failure during a smoking cessation attempt. Unfortunately, current measures require some facility with written English, and can be time consuming to collect in a practice setting. We set out to describe an easy to use, language-independent method of estimating risk of relapse during tobacco use treatment.
METHODS: Participants were drawn from patients attending the smoking cessation clinic of Thomas Jefferson University at various stages of the quitting process. Investigator led interviews were conducted using open-ended survey questions that explored several axes of smoking including: 1) the effect of smoking on health perception, 2) readiness to quit and general mood, 3) confidence about quitting, 4) perceived barriers to quitting, 5) perceived solutions to these barriers, 6) patient expectations of the clinic, and 7) past quit experience and factors associated with previous relapses. The dependant variable was a proposed Cessation Utility Scale, based on the Wong-Baker FACES pain scale. Ethnographic techniques were used to identify common themes among responses, and associations between the various axes measurements and the utility scale were identified using Fishers test.
RESULTS: There was a positive linear association between the higher scores on the utility scale, current mood and confidence levels (p values of < 0.01 and 0.02 with likelihood ratios of 14.4 and 7.7 respectively). There was no internal association between mood or confidence and past quit experience. There was a positive linear association between the utility scale and perceptions of current barriers and ability to identify solutions (p values of 0.07 and <0.01 with likelihood ratios of 5.4 and 22.2 respectively).
CONCLUSION: The Cessation Utility Scale appears to correlate with several factors related to risk of relapse following a cessation attempt.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: In a non-language dependent manner, the Cessation Utility Scale may be useful for quickly and easily assessing confidence and mood related to the present quit attempt, as well as self-perceived ability to identify solutions to cessation barriers.
DISCLOSURE: Tuhina Raman, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information