Perspectives on a Home Telehealth Care Management Program for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Who Smoke

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Abstract

Background:

Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have high rates of smoking and low quit rates. We conducted a qualitative evaluation of an integrated smoking cessation randomized controlled trial (RCT) that used home telehealth and motivational interviewing (MI) to change smoking behaviors among individuals with PTSD.

Method:

Using a convenience sample sourced from the original RCT, intervention and control group participants were invited to participate in a qualitative evaluation. Semistructured interview guides were used to assess the effectiveness of study components, make recommendations for future interventions, and identify facilitators/barriers to smoking cessation. We analyzed these data using an inductive and deductive, team-based content analysis approach.

Results:

We interviewed 32 study participants (intervention: n = 15, control: n = 17) who completed the original RCT within the previous 6 months. Respondents were highly satisfied with home telehealth and MI counseling. The intervention group respondents found MI counseling to be supportive, nonjudgmental, and informative. Control group respondents felt that they had received smoking cessation assistance. Respondents from both groups desired more information about PTSD and smoking, relied on smoking as a coping mechanism for PTSD, and believed that quitting was an individual choice.

Conclusion:

Respondents reported that home telehealth and MI were acceptable ways to provide smoking cessation assistance to individuals with PTSD. The support and increased awareness of smoking behaviors were perceived as helpful. Future investigations should focus on increasing support and information about stress management, smoking, PTSD, and the relationship between them for individuals with PTSD who smoke.

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