This study assessed the efficacy of an individual, minimal contact, smoking cessation programme in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, using a pre–post-test design. The study was part of a large ongoing investigation into the efficacy of self-management in patients with COPD (the COPE-study). In total, the participants received three 15–30 min home-based counselling sessions. Additionally, patients were provided with a written self-help manual. On the patient’s request, the chest physician prescribed bupropion or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Cessation rates after nine months were based on self-report, and afterwards confirmed by salivary cotinine analysis. Patients were biochemically classified as smoker if their cotinine levels exceeded 20 ng/ml. At baseline, one third of the 269 patients in the COPE-study were active smokers (according to self-report). Almost 70% (n=64) of these patients were willing to participate in the smoking cessation program. After nine months follow-up, 23 (36.5%) patients self-reported abstinence. However, the cotinine validated abstinence rate was much lower: 12.7% (n=8), implying that the actual abstinence rate is severely overestimated by self-report in this study. The results suggest that the (validated) effectiveness of this intervention is probably in line with that of comparable programmes for “healthy” persons. However, considering the urgent need for quitting in COPD patients, a more intensive programme resulting in higher quit rates, seems to be required for this high-risk population.
- Smoking cessation