Tobacco use remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Effective tobacco cessation treatments are more widely available than ever before, yet remain underutilized. Tobacco cessation brief interventions (BIs) are low-cost and effective for increasing quit attempts and quit rates. However, BI training has focused primarily on conventional medical providers, largely overlooking other community-based health care and wellness practitioners who see tobacco users in their client and patient populations. Data from the 2004 National Health Interview Survey indicate that 36% of U.S. adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and among those individuals, approximately 20% are tobacco users. Thus, CAM practitioners represent a large, untapped community resource for promoting tobacco cessation. Existing cessation intervention training is not suitable for the background and practice patterns of CAM practitioners, as it assumes a background in conventional biomedicine. Thus there is a pressing need to develop and test the effectiveness of cessation training that is grounded in guideline-based treatment and that is relevant and appropriate for CAM practitioners. The current proposal addresses this gap and builds on our prior research in community-based tobacco BI training and research with CAM practitioners. Primary aims are to: 1) conduct a multi-method study with three types of CAM practitioners (chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners) to document their knowledge, attitudes and experiences regarding tobacco dependence and cessation, and to elicit a range of practice patterns and scenarios in which to provide tobacco cessation interventions;2) tailor a tobacco cessation BI training for CAM practitioners that is part of an office system intervention (called CAM Reach);3) conduct a cluster-randomized lagged intervention Phase 2 study of CAM Reach in 60 CAM practices that will: a) test the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the CAM Reach intervention;and b) evaluate its effect on the primary outcomes of CAM practitioners'conduct of tobacco use screening and brief interventions and secondary outcomes of patients'readiness to quit, quit attempts, use of guideline-based tobacco cessation treatments and quit rates. A secondary aim is to explore CAM Reach's effect on patients who are do not use tobacco but want to help someone else quit, with respect to knowledge cessation aids and actions to help the user quit. Results of the Phase 2 trial will provide the necessary parameters, e.g. effect size and intraclass correlation, to design a Phase 3 multi-site trial. To this end, we also propose a qualitative study of a sample of trained CAM providers and their patients to examine factors associated with CAM providers'implementation and maintenance of cessation intervention behaviors, and changes in patients'tobacco use. We hypothesize that: 1) Trained CAM practitioners will have significantly higher rates of screening and delivery of tobacco cessation BIs compared to untrained CAM practitioners;and 2) Patients of trained CAM practitioners will have significantly higher rates of quit attempts and use of evidence-based tobacco cessation aids, than patients of untrained CAM practitioners.

Public Health Relevance

Practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) are an important source of health care for the US population, including tobacco users. The proposed research will tailor and evaluate a tobacco cessation brief intervention training and office system intervention for 3 types of CAM practitioners: acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine, massage, and chiropractic.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
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Augustson, Erik
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University of Arizona
Family Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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