Tobacco cessation counseling effective in optometry
ANAHEIM, Calif. – A clinically significant decrease in tobacco use was found in patients who received counseling in eye care practices, according to a presenter here at an American Academy of Optometry-sponsored press conference.
Stanley W. Hatch, OD, MPH, FAAO, explained that medical providers are encouraged to counsel patients who use tobacco about cessation. He said that a 9% to 15% cessation rate has been shown, but no studies have been conducted in eye care.
Hatch said that he conducted a case control study in 1997 - 1998 of 80 to 130 patients he personally counseled on tobacco use. He gave them a brochure and urged them to seek assistance.
“Not one single person stopped smoking,” he said. “Two of the control subjects did quit smoking. The odds ratio turned out that I was actually harming the chance of smoking cessation. Medicare mandated we counsel on smoking cessation, and my study showed it made it worse.”
Hatch said he “wanted to do this study to show it was a waste of time to counsel them to stop smoking when they didn’t want to.”
Hatch reviewed 1,834 consecutive records from established patients at least 25 years old who received cessation counseling from April 21 to May 5, 2016, in a large, multisite eye care practice. There were 193 patients in the final sample.
“Twenty-eight, or 14.4% of them, ceased tobacco use,” he said. “It worked.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Disclosure: Hatch reported no relevant financial disclosures.