Treating tobacco use in lower-income, minority emergency department patients
Michael E. Anders, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas for
Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA and Christine E. Sheffer, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas for
Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA
Lower-income, minority patients suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related disease and are less likely to be offered an evidence-based treatment for tobacco use. The emergency department (ED) may be an opportune setting to access this population. This study will test the feasibility of initiating tobacco use treatment in ED patients. All non-urgent ED patients were assessed for tobacco use. Study participants were randomly assigned to usual care, including quit advice, self-help materials, and treatment program brochures, or the intervention group, which also received a faxed-referral that generated proactive telephone contacts. Smoking prevalence of the patient population was 57.3%. Among study participants (n=222), 77% lacked healthcare insurance, 56.9% had annual household incomes < $15,000, and 50.5% were African-American. On a 0–10 scale (0 = not at all; 10 = most possible), mean motivation was = 8.1; 58.6% were willing to set quit dates. All intervention group participants accepted a faxed-referral. Preliminary results suggest that treatment referrals and information about tobacco use treatment were well received. Participants are being followed for 3-months. Outcomes will be presented, including success at engaging participants in treatment and abstinence rates. These results will inform providers on the feasibility of accessing lower-income, minority smokers through the ED.
About the presenters
Dr. Anders is an Associate Professor in the Department of Respiratory and Surgical Technologies in the College of Health Related Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and a licensed respiratory therapist. He is the Principal Investigator of a study, Initiating Treatment for Tobacco Use Tobacco in the Emergency Department, which is funded by a P20 grant from the Tailored Biobehavioral Interventions Research Center at UAMS. He served as a Provider Education Faculty Trainer for the Arkansas Statewide Tobacco Programs and Services.
Dr. Sheffer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Education and Health Behavior in University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health and a clinical psychologist licensed in Arkansas and Mississippi. She has extensive experience implementing and managing statewide programs that deliver brief and intensive interventions for tobacco dependence to large numbers of participants, with a particular emphasis on primary care environments and other healthcare settings.