Category: Addictive Behaviors

Symposium

Partner-Assisted Smoking Cessation: A Novel Smoking Cessation Intervention Targeting Social Support

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Smoking | Couples / Close Relationships | Treatment Development
Presentation Type: Symposium

Rates of successful smoking cessation remain exceedingly low even with treatment (23%), indicating substantial room for improvement in existing smoking cessation programs. One notable predictor of positive smoking cessation outcomes is social support for quitting, particularly from a romantic partner (Lawhon et al., 2009). Research indicates that the provision of positive support (e.g., rewarding abstinence, providing support matching needs) and the absence of negative support (e.g., nagging, giving unwanted advice) improves smoking cessation outcomes. However, interventions that have included components aimed at augmenting social support have largely been ineffective in improving either partner support behaviors or smoking cessation rates (Park et al., 2004), likely because they have not utilized existing empirically based interventions for improving couples’ communication and support skills. Thus, the goal of the current randomized controlled trial was to pilot an 8-week couple-based smoking cessation intervention (Partner Assisted Smoking Cessation [PACT]) that integrates standard smoking cessation treatment with empirically based couple relationship education strategies to improve couple support processes. 50 smokers and their non-smoking partners will be randomly assigned to either PACT or standard smoking cessation treatment (i.e., cognitive behavior therapy [CBT]) and then followed for three months after treatment. Preliminary results from the 19 couples who have completed treatment to date indicate that participants in the PACT group had higher abstinence rates compared to those in the CBT group at 1 (100% vs. 78%), 2 (100% vs. 80%), and 12-weeks (100% vs. 75%) post quit day. Moreover, compared to those in the CBT group, individuals who completed PACT reported higher individual and dyadic smoking cessation self-efficacy as well as improved partner support behaviors. Though none of these differences are statistically significant given the current small samples size, these preliminary findings suggest that PACT may improve partner support for smoking cessation and abstinence rates.

Alison C. McLeish

Associate Professor
University of Louisville

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