Pilot Evaluation of a Brief Intervention to Improve Nicotine Patch Adherence Among Smokers Living With HIV/AIDS

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Nicotine replacement therapy is an effective intervention for smoking cessation, but adherence tends to be low. This article presents results from a pilot evaluation of a brief smoking cessation treatment to improve adherence to the nicotine patch among Latino smokers living with HIV/AIDS. Forty smokers were randomized to receive either a standard 5 As counseling session and 8-week treatment of nicotine patch, or a similar intervention that added a 10-min module to the 5 As counseling that focused on improving adherence to the nicotine patch. Smoking outcomes (breath carbon monoxide monitoring verified 7-day point prevalence and continuous abstinence) were evaluated through a 3-month follow-up. Patch usage during the follow-up period was also assessed. Intention to treat analyses indicated that abstinence rates were 2 to 3 times higher in the adherence condition compared with the standard condition (7-day point prevalence abstinence: 35.0% vs. 15.0%; continuous abstinence: 30.0% vs. 10.0%). Nicotine patch compliance over an 8-week period was also higher in the adherence condition than in the standard condition (44% vs. 25%). Although this small pilot was conducted to estimate effect sizes and was not powered to detect group differences, results are promising and suggest that adding a 10-min module focused on nicotine patch adherence to a standard 5 As protocol can increase abstinence rates. Given that this smoking cessation treatment was not specifically tailored to either HIV-positive smokers or Latino smokers, future research should examine whether it may be a promising approach for improving nicotine patch adherence in the general population of smokers.

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