Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Results from randomised trials regarding smoking cessation in hospitalised patients with COPD are few.
Objectives: To assess the effect of smoking cessation groups (SCG) in patients with COPD admitted to hospital.
Methods: Two hundred and twenty-three patients admitted to hospital were assigned to either a control group (n = 102) or an intervention group (n = 121) by matter of vacancy. The smokers in the intervention group were offered participation in an SCG. Smoking status and change in self-reported symptoms were assessed after 1 year. Smoking status was self-reported and verified with carbohemoglobin measurement. Survival and hospital admissions were assessed after 5 years through national registers.
Results: Forty-eight patients participated in an SCG. After 1 year, 36 (30%) patients in the intervention group were abstinent compared with 13 (13%) patients in the control group [odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 2.83 (1.40–5.74)]. There was a significant difference between the intervention group and the control group regarding change in self-reported phlegm. There was a non-significant tendency towards better survival in the intervention group (50.4%) compared with the control group (43.1%). After 3 years, the intervention group had a significantly fewer total number of days admitted to hospital and number of days hospitalised with COPD.
Conclusion: This study shows that an intervention consisting of offering participation in an SCG to chronic patients makes it possible to obtain higher abstinence rates. Furthermore, this intervention showed impact on phlegm, survival and hospital readmissions.
Please cite this paper as: Borglykke A, Pisinger C, Jørgensen T and Ibsen H. The effectiveness of smoking cessation groups offered to hospitalised patients with symptoms of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Clinical Respiratory Journal 2008; 2: 158–165.