The Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group blog

More about TARG

Recent Posts

Categories

Tags

Archives

Rates of restarting smoking after giving birth

by Olivia Maynard @OliviaMaynard17

This blog originally appeared on the Mental Elf site on 25th April 2016.

Although many women spontaneously quit smoking when they find out they’re pregnant, approximately 11% of women in the UK continue to smoke during their pregnancy. The health implications of this are estimated to amount to an annual economic burden of approximately £23.5 million.

The NHS Stop Smoking Service provides support for pregnant women to quit smoking during their pregnancy at an annual cost of over £5 million (or £235 per successful quitter). However, despite successful smoking abstinence during pregnancy using this service, many women restart smoking after giving birth (i.e. postpartum), increasing their risk of smoking related diseases and their offspring’s risk of passive smoking and becoming smokers themselves.

Jones and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate just how high the rates of restarting smoking postpartum are among those women who have received support to quit smoking during their pregnancy.

The NHS Stop Smoking Service costs over £5 million every year, but 11% of women in the UK continue to smoke during their pregnancy.

The NHS Stop Smoking Service costs over £5 million every year, but 11% of women in the UK continue to smoke during their pregnancy.

Methods 

Selection of included studies

Studies were included if:

  • Participants were pregnant smokers who were motivated to quit smoking (to ensure that participants were similar to those women who actively seek out Stop Smoking Services during their pregnancy)
  • Interventions aimed to encourage smoking cessation during pregnancy, with control group participants receiving placebo, another cessation intervention or no intervention
  • Outcome measures were continuous abstinence from the end of pregnancy to at least one postpartum follow-up, or 7-day point prevalence abstinence (i.e. not smoking for the past 7 days) at both the end of pregnancy and at least one postpartum follow-up. Where biochemically validated abstinence was not available, self-reported abstinence was accepted. 

Primary outcome measure

  • Longitudinally collected continuous abstinence data, among those women who reported abstinence at the end of their pregnancy and were in the intervention condition (i.e. had received Stop Smoking Service support).

Secondary outcome measure

  • The overall rates of smoking prevalence (using point-prevalence data) following childbirth across all women.

Results

Study characteristics

27 studies were included in the review. Of these:

  • 4 reported continuous abstinence only (i.e. can be used for the primary outcome measure only);
  • 7 reported both continuous abstinence and point-prevalence (i.e. can be used for both the primary and secondary outcome measures);
  • 16 reported point-prevalence only (i.e. can be used for the secondary outcome measure only);

20 studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with individual randomisation, 5 were cluster randomised and 2 were quasi-randomised.

To minimise differences between the included studies, only data from similar time-points were synthesised. Postpartum follow-up time-points were as follows:

  • 6 weeks (including data from 10 days and 4, 6 and 8 weeks postpartum);
  • 3 months (data from 3 and 4 months);
  • 6 months (data from 6 and 8 months);
  • 12 months;
  • 18 months;
  • 24 months.

Risk of bias assessment  

  • Studies were screened and data extracted by two reviewers;
  • The quality of included studies was generally judged to be poor;
  • Only 8 (of 27) studies included an intention to treat analysis;
  • Only 18 studies used biochemically validated abstinence;
  • There was evidence of publication bias.

Primary analysis: proportion re-starting smoking

The primary analysis only included those 11 studies reporting continuous abstinence, including a total of 571 women who reported being abstinent at the end of their pregnancy.

By 6 months postpartum, 43% (95% CI = 16 to 72%, I2 = 96.7%) of these women had restarted smoking.

The subgroup analysis of those studies using biochemically validated abstinence measures included only 6 studies and found that by 6 months 74% of women (95% CI = 64 to 82%) had restarted smoking.

Secondary analysis: proportion smoking

The secondary analysis only included those 23 studies reporting point-prevalence abstinence, including a total of 9,262 women.

At the end of pregnancy, 87% (95% CI = 84 to 90%, I2 = 93.2%) of women were smoking and at 6 months this was 94% (95% CI = 92 to 96%, I2 = 88.0%).

The 17 studies using biochemically validated abstinence observed rates of smoking at the end of pregnancy of 89% (95% CI = 86 to 91%, I2 = 91.2%) and 96% at 6 months postpartum (95% CI = 92 to 99%, I2 = 70.7%).

Using these cross-sectional point-prevalence data, it is also possible to estimate the proportion of women restarting smoking postpartum. These data suggest that 13% of women were abstinent at the end of their pregnancy, but only 6% were abstinent at 6 months, which is equivalent to 54% restarting smoking postpartum.

In clinical trials of smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy, only 13% of female smokers are abstinent at term.

In clinical trials of smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy, only 13% of female smokers are abstinent at term.

Conclusion

The authors conclude that:

Most pregnant smokers do not achieve abstinence from smoking while they are pregnant, and among those that do, most will re-start smoking within 6 months of childbirth.

They also note that this means that the considerable expenditure by NHS Stop Smoking Services to help pregnant women quit smoking is not having as big an impact on improving the health of women and their offspring as it might.

Limitations  

  • There was considerable variability between the included studies (i.e. the I2 statistic was high). The authors attempted to minimise this variability by aggregating data at similar time-points and only including those studies where women consented to join (i.e. were motivated to quit smoking)
  • Only a few studies reported longitudinal continuous abstinence data, restricting the amount of data which could be included in the primary analysis.

Discussion  

This is the first study to systematically investigate the rate of restarting smoking postpartum and provide data on the effectiveness of the Stop Smoking Services provided to pregnant women.

Using continuous postpartum abstinence rates, 43% of women who had received a smoking cessation intervention and were abstinent at the end of their pregnancy had restarted smoking after 6 months. Using data from the cross-sectional point-prevalence data, a similar rate of restarting was observed.

These results are generalisable to those pregnant women who seek support from Stop Smoking Services. Although no reviews have investigated the rates of restarting smoking among those women who spontaneously quit smoking during their pregnancy, individual studies suggest that the rates are broadly similar at between 46 and 76%.

Nearly half (43%) of the women who do stop smoking during their pregnancy, re-start smoking within 6 months of childbirth.

Nearly half (43%) of the women who do stop smoking during their pregnancy, re-start smoking within 6 months of childbirth.

Links

Primary paper

Jones M, Lewis S, Parrott S, Wormall S, Coleman T. (2016) Re-starting smoking in the postpartum period after receiving a smoking cessation intervention: a systematic review. Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.13309.

Photo credits

– See more at: http://www.nationalelfservice.net/populations-and-settings/pregnancy/rates-of-restarting-smoking-after-giving-birth/#sthash.iSRFc5w5.dpuf

Medication for cognitive impairment in traumatic brain injury: little evidence to support its use

by Eleanor Kennedy @Nelllor_

This blog originally appeared on the Mental Elf site on 18th January 2016.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is classified by The World Health Organization as the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults worldwide (WHO, 2006, p. 164). An estimated 235 per 100,000 Europeans acquire brain injuries each year, with more than  6 million TBI survivors already living in Europe (Tagliaferri et al, 2006).

There are many long-lasting consequences of TBI including cognitive, behavioural and emotional problems (Barnes & Ward, 2005). Pharmacotherapy interventions have been suggested to alleviate cognitive impairment in TBI sufferers. The current review aimed to assess the evidence for such interventions (Dougall et al, 2015).

skateboardTraumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults worldwide.

Methods

The Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group’s Specialised Register was searched for studies that examined the effectiveness of pharmacological treatment for cognitive impairment in people with traumatic brain injury. The search included both healthcare databases and trial registers. Studies were included if:

  • The study design was either a randomised controlled trial (RCT) or cross-over design study
  • The study investigated one centrally acting pharmacological agent that modulate one or more of the main neurotransmitter systems
  • Participants had to have experienced the TBI resulting in chronic cognitive impairment at least 12 months prior to assessment

The primary outcomes of interest were performance on psychometric and neuropsychological tests or scores on screening measures that measured memory and cognitive function; global severity of cognitive impairment and global impression of change. Acceptability of treatment (as measured by withdrawal from trial), safety, mortality and subjective benefit were all secondary outcomes.

Analyses were carried out on results from phase one of each included study.

Results

Four studies in total were included in the review (3 from the United States, one from Sweden). Seven RCTs that matched inclusion criteria were found, however, two cross-over design studies could not be included as data for phase one was not available from the authors; another study was not included due to the lack of a placebo control. Table 1 summarises the treatments and participants.

Study N Participants Treatment Duration of treatment
Jhaet al. 2008 51 (age 16 to 65) Modafinil; effects histaminergic, serotonergic, and glutaminergic activity 4 weeks
Johansson et al. 2012 12 (age 30 to 65) (−)-OSU6162; monoamine stabiliser agent with dopaminergic and serotonergic effects 4 weeks
Ripley et al. 2014 60 (age 18 to 65) Atomoxetine; noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor 2 weeks
Silver et al., 2006 157 (age 18 to 50) Rivastigmine; an acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor 12 weeks

Primary outcome

Neither modafinil nor atomoxetine demonstrated superiority over placebo on any measure of cognition. The effects of rivastigmine were superior on one measure in the current review (CANTAB RVIP −44.54 milliseconds, 95% CI −88.62 to −0.46), but not in the original trial. Rivastigmine was also effective on the same measure in a subgroup of participants with greater cognitive impairment.

Superiority over placebo for (−)-OSU6162 was demonstrated in Trail Making Test A (−9.20 seconds, 95% CI −12.19 to −6.21), Trail Making Test B (−6.20 seconds, 95%CI,−7.81 to−4.59) and WAIS-III digit symbol coding (8.60, 95% CI 6.47 to 10.73), however the score in Trail Making Test D was higher for placebo (53.80 seconds, 95% CI 36.76 to 70.24) (Johansson 2012).

Secondary outcomes

Safety and acceptability were two secondary outcomes that were reported on. Participants reported more adverse effects for modafinil and atomoxetine, however this was not statistically supported. One participant required a dose reduction in the (-)-OSU6162 trial due to adverse effects. More participants taking rivastigmine reported nausea compared to those taking placebo (19/80, 23.8%versus 6/77, 7.8%, risk ratio 3.05, 95% CI 1.29 to 7.22). Two people dropped out of the modafinil treatment arm, none in the placebo group. There were no deaths reported in any of the included studies.

Strengths and limitations

The review included only randomised controlled trials to assess the effects of centrally acting pharmacological agents for treatment of chronic cognitive impairment subsequent to traumatic brain injury in adults. There were very strict inclusion criteria and the authors chose to only include data from phase one of the treatment. This is a strength for cross-over design studies particularly as this controls for the possibility of long term treatment effects once a group’s treatment is switched to placebo following pharmacological treatment. However, two studies were excluded because data from phase one were unavailable.

The limited number of included studies, rather than a limitation, is likely to be indicative of a lack of well controlled research into pharmacological treatments for cognitive impairment following TBI.

Conclusions

There was no evidence to support modafinil or atomoxetine as a treatment for cognitive impairment as a result of TBI. There was weak evidence to suggest that rivastigmine may be helpful in the treatment of cognitive impairment in one measure of cognitive functioning in this review, however the same effect was not significant in the original study possibly due to the use of a different statistical test, and the findings that (−)-OSU6162 may be superior to placebo must be interpreted with caution as the sample size in this group was so small (n=6).

Overall the authors concluded that:

there is insufficient evidence to determine whether pharmacological treatment is effective in chronic cognitive impairment in TBI.

Two of the four included studies had fatigue as their primary outcome, which further suggests that more research  in the specific area of cognition may be necessary.

In closing, the review highlights a gap in the research in such treatments for TBI, the authors suggest that future research should also focus on outcomes such as neurobehavioral symptoms as well as cognitive impairment and memory performance.

This review highlights a lack of RCTs that explore the value of medication for cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury.This review highlights a lack of RCTs that explore the potential value of medication for cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury.

Links

Primary paper

Dougall D, Poole N, Agrawal N. Pharmacotherapy for chronic cognitive impairment in traumatic brain injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD009221. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009221.pub2.

Other references

Barnes M, Ward A. (2005) Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Medicine. Oxford University Press.

Jha A, Weintraub A, Allshouse A, Morey C, Cusick C, Kittelson J, Gerber D. (2008) A randomized trial of modafinil for the treatment of fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness in individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 23(1), 52–63. doi:10.1097/01.HTR.0000308721.77911.ea (PubMed abstract)

Johansson B, Carlsson A, Carlsson ML, Karlsson M, Nilsson MKL, Nordquist-Brandt E, Rönnbäck L. (2012) Placebo-controlled cross-over study of the monoaminergic stabiliser (-)-OSU6162 in mental fatigue following stroke or traumatic brain injury. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 24, 266–274. doi:10.1111/j.1601-5215.2012.00678.x [PubMed record]

Ripley DL, Morey CE, Gerber D, Harrison-Felix C, Brenner LA, Pretz CR, Wesnes K. (2014) Atomoxetine for attention deficits following traumatic brain injury: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Brain Injury, 28(January 2016), 1514–1522. doi:10.3109/02699052.2014.919530 [PubMed abstract]

Silver JM, Koumaras B, Chen M, Mirski D, Potkin SG, Reyes P, Gunay I. (2006) Effects of rivastigmine on cognitive function in patients with traumatic brain injury. Neurology, 67, 748–755. [PubMed abstract]

Tagliaferri F, Compagnone C, Korsic M, Servadei F, Kraus J. (2006) A systematic review of brain injury epidemiology in Europe. Acta Neurochirurgica, 148(3), 255–68; discussion 268. doi:10.1007/s00701-005-0651-y [PubMed abstract]

WHO. (2006) Neurological Disorders: Public Health Challenges. World Health Organisation (p. 232).http://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/neurological_disorders_report_web.pdf

Photo credits

Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy

By Meg Fluharty @MegEliz_

This blog originally appeared on the Mental Elf site on 11th March 2015.

shutterstock_90615607

Smoking during pregnancy is thought to cause approximately 25,000 miscarriages per year in the United Kingdom (Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2010).

Additionally, smoking while pregnant is attributable to 4-7% of stillbirths (Flenady et al., 2011), and 3-5% of infant deaths (Gray et al., 2009) with these rates even higher in deprived areas, where remaining a smoker during pregnancy is more common (Gray et al., 2009).

In 2009, 24% of women attending antenatal appointments in Scotland were smokers (NHS, 2009). However only 1 in 10 reported using cessation services, and 3% were abstaining by four weeks (Tappin et al., 2010).

A recent Cochrane systematic review suggested financial incentives may be beneficial in helping pregnant women stop smoking, although it concluded that further evidence was needed (Chamberlain et al., 2013). Tappin et al (2015) investigated the effectiveness of shopping vouchers in addition to NHS Stop Smoking Services to aid quit attempts in pregnant women.

Nearly 1 in 4 women attending antenatal appointments in Scotland were smokers (NHS, 2009).

Methods 

The authors conducted a randomised controlled trial of 609 pregnant smokers recruited from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Women were randomly allocated to routine smoking cessation care (control group) or to routine care and up to £400 in shopping vouchers if they engaged with services and successfully quit smoking (incentives group).

Routine care

Routine specialist pregnancy care involved an initial meeting to discuss quitting smoking and set a quit date. This was followed by 4 weekly telephone calls, and free nicotine replacement therapy for 10 weeks.

Incentives group

The incentives group received £50 in shopping vouchers for attending the initial meeting to set a quit date. If participants were smoke-free 4 weeks later, they would receive another £50 voucher, and if smoke-free at 12 weeks, participants received £100 in gift vouchers. Between 34-38 weeks gestation, women were once again asked smoking status, and those who had quit received a final £200 voucher. In all instances, smoking status was verified by a carbon monoxide breath test. 

Women who successfully quit smoking in this study received up to £400 in shopping vouchers.

Results 

  • More women successfully quit smoking in the incentives group (22.5%) than the routine care group (8.6%).
  • There was a higher quit rate at 4 weeks in the incentives group compared to the routine care group.
  • 12 months after quit date, there was still large difference in self-reported quit rates (15% incentives, 4% control).
  • Women lost to follow-up were assumed to be smokers, which was validated by analysing residual routine blood samples for cotinine.

shutterstock_56322052

Summary

This study demonstrated that financial incentives with routine care could be beneficial in motivating quit attempts in pregnant smokers, as well as aiding them in continuing to abstain up to 12 months after their quit date. Furthermore, the quit rates reported in this trial were larger than many pharmaceutical (Coleman et al., 2012) or behavioural (Chamberlain et al., 2013) intervention trials in pregnant women. Although, it should be noted that women in the control group had higher nicotine addiction scores than those in the incentives group.

While the evidence from this study suggests using financial incentives may be beneficial in helping pregnant smokers to stop, there may be practical and ethical issues in implementing this as an intervention.

Additionally, other studies are needed to determine the generalizability and possible cost effectiveness of this intervention, as well as what cessation services are best suited to pair with financial incentives. However, it will be interesting to see how this study may be used to inform future policy.

Links

Tappin D, Bauld L, Purves D, Boyd K, Sinclair L, MacAskill S et al. Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy: randomised controlled trial (pdf). BMJ 2015; 350:h134

Health and Social Care Information Centre, Infant feeding survey 2010 (pdf). HSCIC, 2012. www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/ifs2005.

Flenady V, Koopmans L, Middleton P, Frøen JF, Smith GC, Gibbons K, et al. Major risk factors for stillbirth in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2011;377:1331-40. [Abstract]

Gray R, Bonellie SR, Chalmers J, Greer I, Jarvis S, Kurinczuk J, et al. Contribution of smoking during pregnancy to inequalities in stillbirth and infant death in Scotland 1994-2003: retrospective population based study using hospital maternity records. BMJ 2009;339:b3754.

Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland. Births and babies: smoking and pregnancy, 2009. www.isdscotland.org/isd/2911.html.

Tappin DM, MacAskill S, Bauld L, Eadie D, Shipton D, Galbraith L. Smoking prevalence and smoking cessation services for pregnant women in Scotland. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2010;5:1.

Coleman T, Chamberlain C, Davey MA, Cooper SE, Leonardi-Bee J. Pharmacological interventions for promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012;9:CD010078. [Abstract]

Chamberlain C, O’Mara-Eves A, Oliver S, Caird JR, Perlen SM, Eades SJ, et al. Psychosocial interventions for supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013;10:CD001055

– See more at: http://www.thementalelf.net/mental-health-conditions/substance-misuse/financial-incentives-for-smoking-cessation-in-pregnancy/#sthash.upeNCXSE.dpuf

Helping people with depression return to work

By Meg Fluharty, @MegEliz_

This blog originally appeared on the Mental Elf blog on 27th January 2015.

shutterstock_213396637

Depression is a major public health concern, with a wide range of symptoms, including hopelessness, fatigue, impaired concentration, feelings of inadequacy, as well as slowed thought and movement processing (APA 2013).

These symptoms not only impact upon an individuals’ personal life, but can impair social functioning and the ability to work (Hirschfeld 2000, Lerner 2008).

Within the US, depression was related to 27.2 lost workdays per ill worker per year, and a total of $36.6 billion capital lost in the US labour force (Kessler, 2006).

A new Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the current interventions available for reducing workplace disability in depressive disorder (Nieuwenhuijsen et al, 2014).

A US study from 2006 found that depression was related to 27.2 lost workdays per ill worker per year.

Methods

The authors searched the following databases between January 2006 and January 2014: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, psychINFO, EMBASE, and CINAHL. Studies were included if they were:

  • Randomised controlled trials (RCT) or cluster RCTs
  • Participants were adults (17+)
  • Participants were from occupational health, primary care, or outpatient care settings
  • Depressive criteria met diagnostic criteria, was assessed by a self-reported symptom scale, or by a clinical rated instrument.

Studies were excluded if participants had a primary diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder other than depressive disorder including bipolar depression and depression with psychotic tendencies.

The authors included both workplace (modify the task or hours) and clinical (antidepressant, psychological, or exercise) interventions, and the primary outcome examined was the number of illness-related absences from work during follow up (Nieuwenhuijsen et al, 2014).

Workplace adjustments

Results

The original search yielded a total of 11,776 studies, and resulted in a full text assessment of 73 studies. 50 studies were excluded at the full-text stage- resulting in 1 study included in qualitative synthesis only, and 22 studies included within the meta-analysis.

Overall there were 20 RCTs and 3 Cluster RCTs, totalling 6,278 participants ranging from 20-200 participants between studies. 7 studies recruited from primary care settings, 10 from outpatient, 2 from occupational health, 1 from a managed care setting, and 1 was conducted in a community mental health centre (Nieuwenhuijsen et al, 2014).

Work directed interventions

5 work-directed interventions were identified:

  • There was moderate evidence that a work-directed intervention plus a clinical intervention reduced sick days when compared to clinical intervention alone or a work intervention alone
  • There was low evidence that an occupational therapy and return to work program was beneficial over occupational care as usual

The review found evidence to support a combination of work-directed interventions and clinical interventions.

Antidepressants

6 studies investigated and compared the effectiveness of different antidepressant use, including SSRI, SNRI, TCA, MAO, and placebo:

  • There was no difference between SSRIs and TCAs in reducing sickness absence, while another study found low quality evidence that either TCAs or MAOs reduced absences over placebo
  • Overall, the results of this category were inconsistent

Psychological therapies

  • There was moderate evidence of online or telephone CBT against occupational care as usual for reduction of absences
  • Two studies displayed no evidence that community health nurse interventions helped any more than care-as-usual

Psychological therapies combined with antidepressants

  • Two studies found that enhanced primary care did not decrease sick days over 4-12 months, and another longer term study found similar results
  • However, there was high quality evidence that a telephone outreach management program can be effective in reducing sick leave compared to care-as-usual

Exercise

  • There was low quality evidence that exercise was more effective than relaxing in sickness absence reduction
  • However, there was moderate evidence that aerobic exercise was not more effective than relation or stretching

The review found evidence to support the use of telephone outreach management programs (stern Matron optional).

Discussion

This review evaluated a number of RCTs investigating work or clinical interventions. However, in each category, there was a large amount of variation between the studies and very few studies per category making comparisons difficult.

There was moderate evidence that work-directed interventions combined with a clinical intervention reduced sick leave, and that primary or occupational care combined with CBT also reduced absences. Additionally, there was evidence that a telephone outreach management program with medication reduced absences from work compared to care as usual.

This suggests the need for more research on work-directed interventions to be paired with clinical care, as they have the potential to reduce illness-related absences, but there are currently limited studies evaluating these interventions (Nieuwenhuijsen et al, 2014).

primary or occupational care combined with CBT also reduced absences.

Links

Nieuwenhuijsen K, Faber B, Verbeek JH, Neumeyer-Gromen A, Hees HL, Verhoeven AC, van der Feltz-Cornelis CM, Bültmann U. Interventions to improve return to work in depressed people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD006237. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006237.pub3.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

Hirschfeld RM, Montgomery SA, Keller MB, Kasper S, Schatzberg AF, Moller HJ, et al. Social functioning in depression: a review. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2000; 61 (4):268–75. [PubMed abstract]

Lerner D, Henke RM. What does research tell us about depression, job performance, and work productivity? (PDF) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008; 50(4):401–10.

Kessler RC, Akiskal HS, Ames M, Birnbaum H, Greenberg P, Hirschfeld RM, et al. Prevalence and effects of mood disorders on work performance in a nationally representative sample of U.S. workers. American Journal of Psychiatry 2006; 163(9):1561–8.

Department of Health (2012). Advice for employers on workplace adjustments for mental health conditions (PDF). Department of Health, May 2012.

– See more at: http://www.thementalelf.net/mental-health-conditions/depression/helping-people-with-depression-return-to-work/#sthash.7fnmUfRX.dpuf

Smoking cessation in the emergency setting

By Olivia Maynard @OliviaMaynard17

This blog originally appeared on the Mental Elf site on 20th October 2014

shutterstock_198435872

The prevalence of smoking among patients in emergency departments (ED) is reported to be higher than in the general population, so encouraging smoking cessation in these settings has been recommended. However, 57% of ED staff believe that smoking cessation treatments are inappropriate for the ED setting, citing time constraints, lack of patient interest and treatment ineffectiveness as the main causes of these beliefs (Tong et al., 2010).

A systematic review published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (Pelletier et al., 2014), has recently analysed the most up to date research on the effectiveness, feasibility and appropriateness of smoking cessation interventions in ED settings.

The primary outcome measure was:

  • Self-reported and/or biomarker-assessed smoking cessation.

Secondary outcomes were:

  • All-cause mortality;
  • Cost per quit;
  • Patient satisfaction;
  • Practitioner time spent and non-practitioner time spent (these last two were considered together).

Methods

The authors included all original studies of smoking cessation interventions performed in either adult or paediatric ED settings that assessed at least one of the outcome measures outlined above.

One investigator conducted the literature search (on the Medline and CINAHL databases), identifying 17 articles which were then examined for sources of bias (such as lack of randomisation, non-blinding of participants or study personnel and incomplete outcome data reporting). Four studies were excluded due to a high or unclear risk of bias, leaving 13 studies to undergo full systematic review.

Although a meta-analysis of these studies was planned, their heterogeneity precluded this and therefore only a systematic review was conducted. All studies were also rated on a three point scale for quality, using 19 quality criteria questions.

This review looked at a range of

This review looked at a range of interventions for helping people to quit smoking in the emergency setting.

Results

Of the 13 studies, 11 were conducted in the USA, one in Germany and one in Turkey. Six studies used a single time-point follow-up for assessing smoking cessation, three had two follow-ups, three studies had three follow-ups and one had four follow-ups.

The smoking cessation interventions varied between studies and fell into six broad categories:

  1. Administration of self-help materials;
  2. Faxed referrals to other programmes;
  3. Brief advice;
  4. Counselling;
  5. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT);
  6. Motivational interviewing-based interventions.

Eleven studies included at least two of these interventions and there was no consistent control group across the studies.

The main findings of the systematic review were as follows:

  • The overall quality of the studies was relatively poor:
    • Quality ratings ranged from 31 to 81% (where 100% refers to a study scoring top marks on all 19 quality criteria)
    • The average quality rating was 57% (SD = 15.1%).
    • Studies generally scored poorly on the documentation of participant retention and follow-up, justification of sample size and appropriate follow-up.
    • Data on all-cause mortality and cost per quit were absent or inadequate in the majority of studies and therefore these two secondary outcome measures were dropped from further consideration.
  • The majority of studies found no difference between intervention and control groups in terms of cessation rates (the primary outcome measure):
    • Twelve studies reported cessation rates and 10 of these reported no beneficial effect of the intervention.
    • Two studies reported a beneficial effect of smoking cessation intervention (Bock et al, 2008; Bernstein et al, 2013), however, this was only observed at three months in the first study and only one and three months, but not six months in the second study.
    • The authors of the systematic review note that these two studies used motivational interviewing-based techniques, and suggest that these techniques may be particularly effective. However, it is important to note that four other studies also used motivational interviewing, but did not find any beneficial effect.
    • Although the majority of these studies did not observe a beneficial effect of smoking cessation interventions, the authors note that many did find that overall smoking cessation rates (in both intervention and control arms) was higher than that reported among the general population in the USA (according to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey [NHIS]). This is a crude comparison however, as the 13 studies included in this review were conducted between 2000 and 2014, and were conducted in Turkey and Germany as well as the USA, whereas the NHIS survey was conducted in 2010 only in the USA.
  • Patient satisfaction was high, but was not often reported:
    • In the two studies reporting patient satisfaction, this was found to be 90% or above.
    • Both of these studies used motivational interviewing-based interventions and both considered paediatric patients or their parents, rather than adult patients receiving treatment for themselves.
  • Intervention time varied, but was not often reported:
    • A faxed referral was reported to take an average of 3 minutes, brief advice 5 minutes and motivational interviewing-based interventions 37 minutes.

MOst studies found no difference between intervention and control groups in terms of cessation rates.

Most studies found no difference between intervention and control groups in terms of cessation rates.

Conclusions and implications for practice

The authors of this systematic review conclude that:

ED-based cessation interventions may be effective, but the available data are somewhat limited and heterogeneous.

Only two of the 13 studies included in the review found any benefit of smoking cessation intervention in the ED settings, with both using motivational interviewing. This led the authors of this review to further conclude that:

Motivational interviewing may prove to be a promising strategy where feasible.

However, it is important to note that four of the six studies which used motivational interviewing did not find any beneficial effect of this intervention.

The authors recommend that:

ED providers ask about smoking status, provide brief motivational interviewing or brief advice to quit as time allows, and provide a pamphlet with information about the benefits of smoking cessation and information about the benefits of smoking cessation and information for verified smoking cessation programs to all patients.

The evidence supporting emergency based interventions for smoking cessation is limited and heterogeneous. Further research is required to determine whether smoking cessation interventions are more effective in encouraging cessation than simply visiting the ED alone, and if so, which interventions are most effective.

The evidence-base is not yet of sufficient quality for us to draw any conclusions about the best course of action for smoking cessation in emergency departments.

The evidence-base is not yet of sufficient quality for us to draw any conclusions about the best course of action for smoking cessation in emergency departments.

Limitations

  • The reviewers only searched two databases (Medline and CINAHL) so are likely to have missed studies published in journals not indexed on those databases.
  • The general quality of the studies included in the systematic review was weak to moderate, even after studies with high risk of bias were excluded. Future research should use rigorous designs with large sample sizes.
  • No studies investigated time-effectiveness, all-cause mortality, or cost per quit as outcomes and these factors should be considered in future research.
  • Only four studies pre-registered study information, meaning that the degree to which the remaining studies fully reported all study outcomes cannot be guaranteed.
  • Smoking cessation was assessed by the majority of studies using self-report, rather than through biometrically confirmed abstinence, potentially artificially increasing cessation success.
  • The lack of a standardised control group meant that study findings could not be pooled into a meta-analysis.
  • None of the studies included in this systematic review were conducted in the UK, with the focus on EDs in the USA.

The reviewers could have done more to find studies to include in their review.

The reviewers could have done more to find studies to include in their review.

Links

Pelletier JH, Strout TD, Baumann MR. A systematic review of smoking cessation interventions in the emergency setting. Am J Emerg Med. 2014 Jul;32(7):713-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.03.042. Epub 2014 Apr 2. [PubMed abstract]

Bernstein SL Bijur P, Cooperman N et al. Efficacy of an ED-cased multi-component intervention for smokers with substance use disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2013; 44(1): 139-42.

Bock BC, Becker BM, Niaura RS et al. Smoking cessation among patients in an emergency chest pain observation unit; outcomes of the Chest Pain Smoking Study (CPSS). Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 2008; 10(10):1523-31. [PubMed abstract]

Quitting Smoking Among Adults – United States, 2001-2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2011 [11/11/2011]

– See more at: http://www.thementalelf.net/mental-health-conditions/substance-misuse/smoking-cessation-in-the-emergency-setting/#sthash.SCNL87pV.dpuf

Quitting smoking is associated with decreased anxiety, depression and stress, says new systematic review

It is well known that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world (WHO, 2011). However, the associations between smoking and mental health are less well established.

Smokers often want to quit, but the belief that cigarettes can be used to regulate mood can often deter them, and this is especially true for individuals with mental health problems (Zhou et al, 2009; Thompson et al 2005). However, this is somewhat paradoxical because smoking is often associated with poor mental health (Coulthard et al, 2002). So it’s interesting to report on this new study by Taylor et al (2014) who reviewed the current literature evaluating changes in mental health in those who quit smoking compared with those who continued to smoke.

Methods

The authors conducted a systematic review by searching Web of Science, Cochrane, Medline, Embase & PsychINFO, as well as contacting authors for missing data, and translating non-English papers.

Eligibility was determined using the following criteria:

  • Studies took smokers from the general population or from populations with a defined clinical diagnosis
  • They were longitudinal studies collecting data on mental health prior to quit attempts and again 6 weeks after

A meta-analysis was performed using a random effects model to pool the standard mean difference (SMD) between the change in mental health in quitters and continued smokers from baseline to follow-up. The SMD was used, as different scoring systems couldn’t be standardised across studies.   The mental health outcomes they measured were anxiety, depression, mixed anxiety/depression, positive affect, psychological quality of life & stress.

Results of systematic review

After data extraction, 15 full text articles were included:

Study type

11 cohort studies, 14 secondary analyses of cessation interventions, and 1 randomised controlled trial.

Participant population

14 studies included the general population, 3 included patients living with chronic physical condition, 2 with pregnant patients, 1 included postoperative patients, 2 studies included either chronic physical or psychiatric conditions, and 4 studies included patients with psychiatric conditions.

48% of participants were male with a median age of 44, and on average smoked 20 cigarettes per day. The average participant scored as moderately dependent to nicotine on a dependence test.

Results of meta-analysis

Compared with continuing to smoke:

People who quit smoking were less anxious, depressed and stressed than those who continued to smoke

People who quit smoking were less anxious, depressed and stressed than those who continued to smoke

  • Quitting was associated with a decrease in anxiety (SMD -0.37, 95% CI  -0.70 to -0.03; P=0.03)
  • Quitting was associated with a decrease in depression (SMD -0.25, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.12; P<0.001)
  • Quitting was associated with a decrease in mixed anxiety and depression (SMD -0.31, 95% CI -0.47 to -0.14; P<0.001)
  • Quitting was associated with a decrease in stress (SMD -0.27, 95% CI -0.40 to -0.13; P<0.001)
  • Quitting was associated with an improved psychological quality of life (SMD 0.22, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.36; P<0.001)
  • Quitting was associated with increased positive affect (SMD 0.40, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.71; P=0.01)

Subgroup Analyses

  • Analyses for study quality did not change summary estimates
  • Studies which adjusted for covariates showed a larger difference between quitters and those who continued to smoke compared to studies which did not adjust

Additional Analyses

  • There was no evidence that effect size differed across different clinical populations
  • There was no evidence of subgroup differences between study designs
  • The studies were ordered according to length in a forest plot and no clear chronological pattern in effect estimates was found

Discussion

This review shows that quitting smoking is associated with reduced depression, anxiety and stress, and improved psychological quality of life and positive affect compared to continuing to smoke. The strength of the association was similar for all populations; both general and clinical. The authors suggest three possible interpretations of the data:

  1. Quitting smoking results in improved mental health
  2. Improved mental health causes an individual to quit smoking
  3. There is a common factor that explains both the improved mental health and smoking cessation

The authors hypothesise that quitting smoking improves mood is supposed by a biological mechanism caused by brain changes in the nicotinic pathways due to chronic smoking (Wang & Sun, 2005). These brain changes result in low mood (irritation, anxiety, and depressed mood) after smoking a cigarette. While an individual is actually feeling withdrawal symptoms, they are misattributed to low mood, and more cigarettes are smoked to alleviate their symptoms (Benowitz, 1995; Benowitz, 2010).

However, not all of the data supports this interpretation.  For example, a study using Mendelian randomisation- an instrumental variable approach that uses gene relating to smoking behaviour to examine health related outcomes, did not find a causal association between smoking and mental health (Bjorngaard et al 2013).

While this review displays that there are strong associations between quitting smoking and mental health, the authors recommend future studies examining this association to help strengthen causal inferences which come from observation research. The authors suggest further epidemiological studies using Mendelian randomisation, or using statistical analysis of observational data using propensity score matching to reduce the bias of confounding variables.

Conclusion

Many people believe that quitting smoking can have adverse psychiatric effects. This high quality research suggests the opposite

Many people believe that quitting smoking can have adverse psychiatric effects. This high quality research suggests the opposite

These are important findings as smokers can find reassurance in the fact that quitting is likely to result in improved mental wellbeing. Additionally, these findings are important as they show that quitting smoking is likely to improve your mental health if you are mentally ill or mentally well.

Hopefully these findings will help overcome some of the current barriers within the mental health field; for example the continued belief that quitting smoking or certain pharmacological treatments can have adverse psychiatric effects.  See our recent Lee Cook et al (2013) blog, which showed that individuals with mental illness treated as outpatients were more likely to decrease and quit smoking than those in inpatient facilities.

Furthermore, the NICE guidelines on smoking cessation, which we blogged about here, recommend that all NHS hospitals and clinics should become smoke-free, as well as identifying smokers and offering behavioural and pharmacotherapy onsite. Additionally, the guidelines suggest staff should be trained on stop-smoking services and should abstain from smoking on-site themselves (NICE, 2013).

Links

Taylor G et al. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2014;348:g1151 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g1151

Coulthard M, Farrell M, Singleton N, Meltzer H. Tobacco, alcohol and drug use and mental health (PDF). Office for National Statistics, 2002.

World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic. WHO, 2011.

Zhou X, Nonnemaker J, Sherrill B, Gilsenan A, Coste F, West R. Attempts to quit smoking and relapse: factors associated with success or failure from the ATTEMP cohort study (PDF). Addict Behav 2009;34:365-73.

Thompson B, Thompson LA, Thompson J, Fredickson C, Bishop S. Heavy smokers: a qualitative analysis of attitudes and beliefs concerning cessation and continued smoking. Nicotine Tob Res 2003;5:923-33. [PubMed abstract]

Le Cook B, Wayne GF, Kafali EN, Lui Z, Shu C Flore M. Trends in Smoking Among Adults with Mental Illness and Association Between Mental Health Treatment and Smoking Cessation. JAMA. 2014; 311 (2): 172-182. [Abstract]

Smoking cessation: acute, maternity and mental health services: guidance (PDF). NICE, PH48, 27 Nov 2013.

Wang H, Sun X. Desensitized nicotinic receptors in brain. Brain Res Rev 2005;48:420-37. [Abstract]

Benowitz NL. Nicotine addiction. Prim Care 1999;26:611-31 [PubMed abstract]

Benowitz NL. Nicotine addiction. N Engl J Med 2010;362:2295 [Abstract]

Bjorngaard JH, Gunnell D, Elvestad MB, Davey-Smith G, Skorpen F, Krokan H, et al. The causal role of smoking in anxiety and depression: a Mendelian randomization analysis of the HUNT study. Psychol Med 2013;43:711-9 [PubMed abstract]

This article first appeared on the Mental Elf website on 13 March 2014 and is posted by Meg Fluharty. Follow Meg on Twitter @MegEliz_

– See more at: http://www.thementalelf.net/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders/quitting-smoking-is-associated-with-decreased-anxiety-depression-and-stress-says-new-systematic-review/#sthash.z8TIWuMV.dpuf