Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the effectiveness of a nurse practitioner intervention using nicotine replacement therapy and telephone counselling for smoking cessation.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will identify a nurse practitioner model of care for approaches to smoking cessation for this vulnerable and marginalised patient group.
The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of current practice in smoking cessation for the general population i.e., a telephone counselling and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) intervention and its applicability to people with chronic hepatitis-C.
A randomised controlled trial was conducted over twelve weeks. Following consent, ninety-two smokers (outpatients) with chronic hepatitis-C were recruited by the Nurse Practitioner hepatology, randomly assigned and stratified by number of cigarettes smoked (i.e., 15 and greater; <15) into the intervention group (telephone counselling and NRT) and control group (telephone counselling). Outcomes measured included socio-demographics, nicotine dependence, depression, anxiety and stress and quality of life (QOL). All statistical data were analysed using SPSS.
After 12 weeks, the intervention group showed a sustained reduction of smoking i.e., 5.8(CI: 2.4,9.3) cigarettes less per day, whereas the control group showed 1.6(CI:-1.9,5.2) cigarette reduction. Although not statistically significantly different (F=2.9, p=0.090) the intervention group on average smoked 4.2 fewer cigarettes compared to the control group. After twelve weeks, seven patients in the intervention group and three patients in the control group reported quitting. Whilst not statistically significant (Fisher’s Exact, p=0.311) this was a clinically significant result. No differences were found for nicotine dependence or depression, anxiety and stress. The intervention group experienced no change in QOL (-0.1,CI:-0.9, 0.6), however, the environmental score for the control group decreased by 1.8(CI:1.0, 2.6,p= 0.001). This was statistically significant.
Conclusion: A telephone counselling and nicotine replacement therapy intervention from the nurse practitioner, hepatology reduced smoking in patients with chronic hepatitis-C. The intervention group showed a sustained reduction over the 12 weeks. A total of 10 patients quit smoking at the end of the study. QOL deteriorated in the environmental subscale for the control group. These results informed a nurse practitioner model of care for approaches to smoking cessation.