IntroductionTobacco is the leading cause of death and disease in India. This study examines the effect of training intervention in behavioral counseling on intention to quit tobacco in primary healthcare settings in India. The intervention included training to improve behavioral counseling practices of primary care physicians (PCPs) based on the 5As approach to increase patients' motivation to quit tobacco.
MethodsA quasi-experimental design was used for the study. The intervention consists of training of primary care physicians in the behavioral intervention in tobacco cessation. The intervention was conducted in twelve districts of two states in India (Rajasthan and Odisha) in 2016-2017. Four districts were randomly sampled for the study. A total of 1314 participants (intervention and control) were recruited for the study in the baseline and end-line surveys, respectively. Intention to quit in 30 days was the primary outcome measure. Difference-in-difference (DiD) logistic regression models were used separately for smokers and smokeless tobacco users to estimate the odds of intention to quit. Analysis was done in STATA Version 14.
ResultsThe intervention and time variable had a significantly positive influence on the intention to quit tobacco among smokers. Smokers in the intervention districts had higher odds of intention to quit (OR=9.82; 95% CI: 1.67-57.72) compared to smokers in the control districts. Smokeless tobacco (SLT) users had higher odds of intention to quit (OR=3.06; 95% CI: 1.35-6.98) in the end-line survey compared to baseline survey.
ConclusionsOur findings indicate that building capacity in behavioral intervention in primary care settings can help increase the intention to quit among smokers. The observed difference in intention to quit between smokers and SLT users suggests the need of tailored counseling interventions for SLT users. There is a need for further research to design and evaluate training and behavioral interventions for SLT and dual (smoking and SLT) users in primary care settings in low- and middle-income countries.