This study was supported by a NIH/NIDA K23 Research Career Award (EDB) (K23DA16698).
Brief Report: 2009 Consensus Conference Follow-up
The Effect of Removing Cost as a Barrier to Treatment Initiation With Outpatient Tobacco Dependence Clinics Among Emergency Department Patients
Article first published online: 22 APR 2011
© 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Academic Emergency Medicine
Volume 18, Issue 6, pages 662–664, June 2011
How to Cite
Ozhathil, D. K., Abar, B., Baumann, B. M., Camargo, C. A., Ziedonis, D. and Boudreaux, E. D. (2011), The Effect of Removing Cost as a Barrier to Treatment Initiation With Outpatient Tobacco Dependence Clinics Among Emergency Department Patients. Academic Emergency Medicine, 18: 662–664. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01048.x
The authors have no relevant financial information or potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
Editor’s note: Academic Emergency Medicine highlights articles that follow up on the research agendas created at the journal’s annual consensus conferences. This article relates to the 2009 AEM consensus conference, “Public Health in the ED: Surveillance, Screening, and Intervention.” All prior consensus conference proceedings issues are available open access at http://www.aemj.org, and authors interested in submitting a consensus conference follow-up paper should consult the author guidelines.
Supervising Editor: Michael Mello, MD.
- Issue published online: 15 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 22 APR 2011
- Received October 18, 2010; revisions received November 23 and November 29, 2010; accepted November 30, 2010.
ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2011; 18:662–664 © 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Objectives: The campaign against tobacco addiction and smoking continues to play an important role in public health. However, referrals to outpatient tobacco cessation programs by emergency physicians are rarely pursued by patients following discharge. This study explored cost as a barrier to follow-up.
Methods: The study was performed at a large urban hospital emergency department (ED) in Camden, New Jersey. Enrollment included adults who reported tobacco use in the past 30 days. Study participants were informed about a “Stop Smoking Clinic” affiliated with the hospital and, depending on enrollment date, cost of treatment was advertised as $150 (standard fee), $20 (reduced fee), or $0 (no fee). Monitoring of patient inquiries and visits to the clinic was performed for 6 months following enrollment of the last study subject.
Results: The analyzed sample consisted of 577 tobacco users. There were no statistically significant demographic differences between treatment groups (p > 0.05). Two-hundred forty-seven (43%) participants reported “very much” interest in smoking cessation. However, there was no significant difference in initiating treatment with the Stop Smoking Clinic across experimental condition. Only a single subject, enrolled in the no-fee phase, initiated treatment with the clinic.
Conclusions: Cost is unlikely to be the only barrier to pursing outpatient tobacco treatment after an ED visit. Further research is needed to determine the critical components of counseling and referral that maximize postdischarge treatment initiation.