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Addiction. 1998 Jul;93(7):1007-11.

A randomized controlled trial of a "buddy" systems to improve success at giving up smoking in general practice.

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1
St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

To assess the effect on abstinence rates of pairing up smokers attending a general practice smokers, clinic to provide mutual support between clinic sessions.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial comparing a "buddy" condition with a "solo condition" in which smokers received the e same treatment but were not paired up.

SETTING:

A general practice smokers' clinic in London.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred and seventy-two smokers recruited by mailshot. INTERVENTION. Smokers attended a nurse-led smokers clinic 1 week prior to their quit date, on the quite date, 1 week later and 3 weeks after that. Smokers in the buddy condition were paired with another smoker trying to give up at the same time to provide mutual support between clinic sessions.

MEASUREMENT:

The main outcome measure was the percentage of smokers still abstinent from cigarettes at end of treatment (weeks from quite date), verified by expired air carbon monoxide concentration.

FINDINGS:

The percentage of smokers still abstinent at the end of treatment was significantly higher in the buddy condition than the solo condition (27% vs. 12%).

CONCLUSIONS:

A buddy system can provide an effective element of a smoking cessation intervention at minimal cost. Further research is needed to establish the long-term efficacy of this approach and examine the effectiveness of incorporating social support into other types of smoking cessation programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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