quitline; smoking cessation; social networking
BMC Research Notes
Background: Telephone counseling Quitlines can support smoking cessation, but are under-utilized. We explored the use of smoker peer-referrals to increase use of a Quitline in Mississippi and Alabama.
Findings: Collaborating with the Alabama and Mississippi Quitline, we piloted peer-referrals to Quitlines. Successful ‘quitters’ who had used the Quitline were contacted at routine follow-up and recruited to participate as a peer-referrer and refer their friends and family who smoked to the Quitline. Peer-referrers completed a training session, received a manual and a set of Quitline brochures a peer-referral forms. These peer-referral forms were then returned to the Quitline telephone counselors who proactively called the referred smokers. Of the initial potential pool of 96 who quit using the Quitline, 24 peer-referrers (75% Women, 29% African-American, and high school graduates/GED 67%) were recruited and initially agreed to participate as peer-referrers. Eleven of the 24 who initially agreed were trained, and of these 11, 4 (4%) actively referred 23 friends and family over 2 months. From these 23 new referrals, three intakes (100% Women, 66% African-American) were completed. Of the initial pool of 96, 4 (4%) actively participated in referring friends and family. Quitline staff and peer-referrers noted several barriers including: time-point in which potential peer-referrers were asked to participate, an ‘overwhelming’ referral form to use and limited ways to refer.
Conclusions: Though ‘quitters’ were willing to agree to peer-refer, we received a minority of referrals. However, we identified several areas to improve this new method for increasing awareness and access to support systems like the Quitline for smokers who want to quit.
Recommended CitationDeLaughter, Kathryn; Volkman, Julie E.; Phillips, Barrett D.; and Houston, Thomas K., "Quitters referring smokers: a quitline chain-referral pilot study" (2014). Communication Journal Articles. Paper 128.