Objective: To evaluate a training workshop for community pharmacy personnel to improve their counselling in smoking cessation based on the stage-of-change model.
Design: A randomised controlled trial of community pharmacies and pharmacy customers.
Setting: All 76 non-city community pharmacies registered in Grampian, Scotland, were invited to participate. Sixty-two pharmacies (82%) were recruited.
Subjects: All the intervention pharmacy personnel were invited to attend the training; 40 pharmacists and 54 assistants attended. A total of 492 customers who smoked (224 intervention, 268 controls) were recruited during the 12-month recruitment period (overall recruitment rate 63%).
Main outcome measures: The perceptions of customers and pharmacy personnel of the pharmacy support and self-reported smoking cessation rates for the two groups of customers at one, four, and nine months.
Results: The intervention customer respondents were significantly more likely to have discussed stopping smoking with pharmacy personnel, 85% (113) compared with 62% (99) of the controls (p<0.001). The former also rated their discussion more highly; 34% (45) of the intervention customers compared with 16% (25) of the controls rated it as "very useful" (p = 0.048). Assuming non-responders had lapsed, one-month point prevalence of abstinence was claimed by 30% of intervention customers and 24% of controls (p = 0.12); four months' continuous abstinence was claimed by 16% of intervention customers and 11% of controls (p = 0.094); and nine months' continuous abstinence was claimed by 12% of intervention customers and 7% of controls (p = 0.089). These trends in outcome were not affected by potential confounders (sex, age, socioeconomic status, nicotine dependence, and type of nicotine replacement product used) or adjustment for clustering.
Conclusions: The intervention was associated with increased and more highly rated counselling, and a trend toward higher smoking cessation rates, indicating that community pharmacy personnel have the potential to make a significant contribution to national smoking cessation targets.
- Community pharmacy
- Health education
- Smoking cessation