Behavioral Supportive And Other Treatments

Since the 1960s, many behavioral techniques have been developed to help tobacco dependent people quit, but only a few techniques have shown reliable evidence of efficacy. Efficacy is generally defined by comparing abstinence rates (i.e., proportion not using tobacco products) at six months or a year after quitting. In 2000, the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a second comprehensive evaluation of these techniques using meta-analysis, a method of quantitative literature review. The review identified four areas of behavioral treatment or psychosocial support that were associated with significantly higher quit rates: (a) intra-treatment support; (b) extra-treatment support; (c) problem solving and skills training; and (d) aversive techniques. The first two approaches represent supportive psychological treatments, whereas the latter two emphasize behavioral aspects of smoking and employ some principles of behavioral modification. Before considering them, the actual act of quitting and relevant approaches are detailed. Finally, brief descriptions of some techniques whose clinical efficacy has not been supported will be provided.

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