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Protocol Summary

Protocol No.
Prinicipal Investigator
Yingst, Jessica
Age Group
Effectiveness of smoking cessation resources available to patients of the Penn State Cancer Institute (PSCI)
Study Objectives
Smoking cessation after cancer diagnosis is associated with improved cancer-related outcomes including treatment tolerance, primary tumor outcomes, and the development of second primary tumors. Despite the connection between quitting and improved outcomes, the majority of smoking cancer patients continue to smoke. To improve cessation rates, research is needed to better understand the factors associated with interest and successful quitting. This will be achieved through the following aims:

Aim 1: Evaluate interest in quitting smoking, and the related factors, at baseline, prior to cancer treatment. This aim will assess interest in quitting smoking, prior beginning cancer treatment, and identify factors related to interest (such as demographics, dependence, disease stage, treatment plan, risk/harm perceptions, and number of past attempts to quit). We hypothesize that those with later-stage diagnoses, requiring more intensive treatment, will be less interested in quitting. In addition, we hypothesize that greater risk perception of tobacco s role in the development of cancer will be associated with greater interest in quitting.

Aim 2: Evaluate the proportion of patient s abstinent from cigarette smoking (biochemically verified with CO), and the related factors, at follow-up, post-cancer treatment. After providing patients with a list of the smoking cessation resources, this quantitative aim will assess abstinence from smoking and identify factors (such as demographics, interest in quitting, dependence, disease stage, treatment plan, risk/harm perceptions, resources used, and medications used) associated with successful quitting at follow-up post-treatment. Participants will be considered abstinent if they report no smoking in the past 7 days and have an exhaled carbon monoxide level less than <7ppm. We hypothesize few patients will be abstinent at follow-up, and greater likelihood of abstinence will be associated with the use of counseling resources and FDA-approved medication.

Aim 3: Evaluate the proportion of patients utilizing each resource, the patient s satisfaction with each resource used, and the reasons for not utilizing provided resources. This aim will assess patient experiences with the provided list of smoking cessation resources available to patients. We hypothesize that a small proportion of participants will engage with treatment options, and that satisfaction will be highest among those who use resources that provide counseling and medication. In addition, we hypothesize that a lack of integration with cancer treatment, stress, and ease of enrollment will be common reasons for not utilizing available resources.

The proposed study will explore the effectiveness of currently available smoking cessation resources at the PSCI and identify areas where resources can be improved. This data will provide greater insight into the proportion of patients who successfully quit smoking given current resources and will determine the barriers that patients face when attempting to quit. This study is an important first step to developing comprehensive tobacco treatment for PSCI patients, and ultimately improving patient care.

Applicable Disease Sites
Head and Neck
Participating Institutions
Hershey Medical Center