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D'Silva J.,ClearWay Minnesota | Boyle R.G.,ClearWay Minnesota | Lien R.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Okuyemi K.S.,University of Minnesota
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Menthol cigarettes account for 25% of the market in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration currently is considering regulatory action on tobacco products, including a ban on menthol cigarettes. With 39% of menthol smokers reporting that they would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were banned, there is a need to better understand whether existing cessation programs, such as quitlines, are serving menthol smokers. Purpose: This study compared baseline characteristics and cessation outcomes of menthol and nonmenthol smokers who were seeking treatment through a quitline. Methods: Data were collected between September 2009 and July 2011 on 6257 participants. A random sample of eligible participants who registered for services between March 2010 and February 2011 was contacted for a follow-up survey 7 months post-registration (n=1147). Data were analyzed in 2011. Results: Among participants, 18.7% of smokers reported using menthol cigarettes. Menthol smokers were more likely to be female, younger, African-American, and have less than a high school education. Menthol smokers who called the quitline were slightly less likely to enroll in services than nonmenthol smokers (92.2% vs 94.8%, p<0.001). However, for those that did enroll, there were no significant differences in self-reported intent-to-treat 30-day point prevalence abstinence rates between menthol and nonmenthol smokers (17.3% vs 13.8%, p=0.191). Conclusions: Quitlines appear to be adequately serving menthol smokers who call for help. Cessation outcomes for menthol smokers are comparable to nonmenthol smokers. However, if a menthol ban motivates many menthol smokers to quit, quitlines may have to increase their capacity to meet the increase in demand. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Lien R.K.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Schillo B.A.,Minneapolis | Goto C.J.,Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund | Porter L.,Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2016

Introduction: Quitline outcome studies are used to maintain and improve the effectiveness of these evidence-based cessation services. Nonresponse has the potential to bias survey results and many US and Canadian quitlines are reporting survey response rates below 50%. This study examines the effect of nonresponse bias on quit rates in three state quitline populations. Results provide implications of nonresponse bias for quitline practice. Methods: Quit status, defined as abstinent for 30 days or more 7 months after registering for services, was collected from Minnesota, Hawaii, and Florida quitline participants that responded to a survey. We assigned each responder to a wave based on the number of contacts required to obtain a survey response. Results: The latest two responder groups had the lowest quit rates within each state, although results were not statistically significant. Quit rates in the latest responder wave (Wave 6) were between 4% and 13% points lower than the earliest responders (Wave 1). The cumulative quit rates show what the quit rate would have been had the study ended after the corresponding wave. In all four studies, the cumulative quit rate was lowest in Wave 6. Conclusion: To increase accuracy of quit rates, quitlines should focus on increasing survey response rates. Suggestions for improving survey response rates are provided. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.


Betzner A.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Lawrenz F.P.,University of Minnesota | Thao M.,University of Minnesota
Evaluation and Program Planning | Year: 2016

Three different methods were used in an evaluation of a smoking cessation study: surveys, focus groups, and phenomenological interviews. The results of each method were analyzed separately and then combined using both a pragmatic and dialectic stance to examine the effects of different approaches to mixing methods. Results show that the further apart the methods are philosophically, the more diverse the findings. Comparisons of decision maker opinions and costs of the different methods are provided along with recommendations for evaluators' uses of different methods. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Westermeyer J.J.,University of Minnesota | Lien R.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Butcher J.,University of Minnesota | Jaranson J.M.,University of Minnesota
Psychiatric Services | Year: 2010

Objective: This study assessed whether a simple, readily implemented foursymptom somatic screen would be able to effectively identify current posttraumatic stress symptoms in victimized populations. Methods: The sample consisted of 622 Somali community-dwelling refugees who fled widespread violence and trauma occurring in East Africa during 1990-1992. Data were collected during 2000-2003 and included demographic characteristics, number of types of torture and nontorture trauma experienced earlier in Africa, and current self-rated posttraumatic stress symptoms, as measured by the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL). The sample was also assessed with the HADStress screen, which was developed for this study, to determine whether the screen was effective in detecting current posttraumatic stress symptoms. The HADStress screen assessed for the presence of four somatic symptoms: Headaches, Appetite change, Dizziness, and Sleep problems. All items were given equal weight. Possible scores on the screen range from 0 to 4, with higher scores indicating more somatic symptoms. Results: Univariate analysis showed that persons who experienced more types of trauma (both torture and nontorture trauma) and persons who had higher PCL scores (indicating more current posttraumatic stress symptoms) had significantly higher HADStress scores. Negative binomial regression analysis showed that PCL scores were the most effective variable in predicting HADStress scores. On the Tukey-B post hoc analysis, a HAD-Stress score of 0 or 1 was associated with a mean PCL score of less than 30, a score of 2 was associated with a mean PCL score of 40.28, and a score of 4 was associated with a mean PCL score of 51.07 (suggesting that over 50% of this group would have active posttraumatic stress disorder). Conclusions: A score of 2 or higher on the HADStress scale among refugees warrants additional evaluation for posttraumatic stress symptoms in clinical settings. For communitywide efforts at early recognition and treatment, a cutoff score of 4 may be more practical and cost-effective.


Schillo B.A.,ClearWay Minnesota SM | Mowery A.,ClearWay Minnesota SM | Greenseid L.O.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Luxenberg M.G.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: This observational study assessed the relation between mass media campaigns and service volume for a statewide tobacco cessation quitline and stand-alone web-based cessation program. Methods. Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify how weekly calls to a cessation quitline and weekly registrations to a web-based cessation program are related to levels of broadcast media, media campaigns, and media types, controlling for the impact of external and earned media events. Results: There was a positive relation between weekly broadcast targeted rating points and the number of weekly calls to a cessation quitline and the number of weekly registrations to a web-based cessation program. Additionally, print secondhand smoke ads and online cessation ads were positively related to weekly quitline calls. Television and radio cessation ads and radio smoke-free law ads were positively related to web program registration levels. There was a positive relation between the number of web registrations and the number of calls to the cessation quitline, with increases in registrations to the web in 1 week corresponding to increases in calls to the quitline in the subsequent week. Web program registration levels were more highly influenced by earned media and other external events than were quitline call volumes. Conclusion: Overall, broadcast advertising had a greater impact on registrations for the web program than calls to the quitline. Furthermore, registrations for the web program influenced calls to the quitline. These two findings suggest the evolving roles of web-based cessation programs and Internet-use practices should be considered when creating cessation programs and media campaigns to promote them. Additionally, because different types of media and campaigns were positively associated with calls to the quitline and web registrations, developing mass media campaigns that offer a variety of messages and communicate through different types of media to motivate tobacco users to seek services appears important to reach tobacco users. Further research is needed to better understand the complexities and opportunities involved in simultaneous promotion of quitline and web-based cessation services. © 2011 Schillo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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