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Free Choice to Quit Improves Success

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 25, 2007

Researchers believe smokers who sincerely want to quit and who take a part in developing a cessation process are more likely to kick the habit. The findings eminate from a study evaluating a new psychological theory of human motivation, called Self-Determination Theory.

Dr. Geoffrey Williams of the University of Rochester believes patient involvement in a quit plan leads to smokers who are more motivated to quit because they genuinely want to, not because they are being nagged or bullied.

Williams’ team of researchers found that smokers who were counseled in a manner that encouraged them to reflect on whether they wanted to smoke or not, and if not why they were trying to quit, were more likely to maintain their abstinence for two years than those who received usual care.

Participants in the control group were simply given a list of quit resources in the community and were encouraged to visit their doctors for help, while participants in the special program received one-on-one counseling and more.

Williams said patients in the cessation program were asked about their willingness to and confidence in quitting, their history with tobacco, general medical history, and even their life aspirations.

Smokers in the program were also encouraged to take part in developing a personalized quit plan by providing input and perspective on how smoking fit into their lives and which aspects of quitting were most daunting.

The support and choice patients received in the program resulted in a greater motivation to quit, willingness to try medications, higher levels of commitment to quit plans, and ultimately, more successes. Williams said the cessation plan offered additional support to smokers that a typical doctor’s office doesn’t.

“I don’t think they get enough time and I don’t think they get enough input and choice into the quit plan,” Williams said.

“Our findings showed it was particularly important to promote patient choice and active participation in the plan.”

Williams said the method has also proved successful for patients managing diabetes, weight loss, and dental care.

Source: University of Rochester

 

APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2007). Free Choice to Quit Improves Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/25/free-choice-to-quit-improves-success/853.html