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With one of the highest rates of tobacco dependence in the nation, Louisiana has been searching for economical and effective methods for assisting patients in cessation efforts. Community pharmacists are in an excellent position to promote tobacco cessation due to their availability to patients. The "Ask-Advise-Refer" model is a short intervention in which patients desiring to quit smoking are referred to free tobacco cessation telephone counseling services.
To evaluate the implementation of the Ask-Advise-Refer model in a sample of Louisiana pharmacies and identify barriers experienced by pharmacists when identifying and referring appropriate patients.
Nine pharmacists from across the state implemented the Ask-Advise- Refer model in their community pharmacies. Each pharmacist submitted a weekly tally sheet consisting of number of patients asked about tobacco dependence, number of patients not ready to quit, number referred to tobacco cessation telephone counseling, number enrolled in study, and amount of time involved with interventions. Additionally, participating pharmacists completed a self-administered survey at the completion of the pilot study to determine opinions on barriers to widespread implementation of the program.
Over a 6-month period, the 9 pharmacists asked 5429 patients about tobacco dependence. Of the 657 self-identified tobacco-dependent patients, 478 (72.8%) were not ready to quit, and 179 (27.2%) indicated that they were ready to quit tobacco in the next 30 days. Of the patients ready to quit, 169 (94.4%) were referred to telephone counseling services to assist in their cessation efforts.
Louisiana community pharmacists have the ability to screen and identify tobacco-dependent patients ready to quit tobacco use, but barriers exist that prevent a large number of these patients from being referred to available, free cessation counseling.
Department of Clinical & Administrative Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Monroe, LA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Annals of pharmacotherapy
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