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4 interaction dynamics occurred in telephone counselling for smoking cessation

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Q What are the optimal characteristics of proactive telephone support as a smoking cessation intervention?


Qualitative study within a randomised controlled trial.


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


A sample of 56 consecutively enrolled patients (mean age 50 y, 55% women, mean 31 y smoking) from a surgical preassessment clinic who were in the intervention group of a randomised controlled trial evaluating proactive smoking cessation telephone counselling by 8 trained nurses. Patients were self identified smokers, had elective surgery scheduled within 12 weeks after assessment, and had an anticipated hospital stay ⩾24 hours after surgery.


All telephone counselling intervention calls for the 56 postoperative patients were tape recorded (368 completed calls, mean 6.2 min/call, range 1–50 min), with the number of calls per patient ranging from 2–9. The calls were …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J L Bottorff, Nursing and Health Behaviour Research Unit, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  • Sources of funding: British Columbia Medical Services Foundation and National Cancer Institute of Canada.