Multiple Approaches and Participation Rate for a Community Based Smoking Cessation Intervention Trial in Rural Kerala, India


Background: To illustrate multiple approaches and to assess participation rates adopted for a communitybased smoking cessation intervention programme in rural Kerala. Materials and
Methods: Resident males inthe age group 18-60 years who were ‘current daily smokers’ from 4 randomly allocated community developmentblocks of rural Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala (2 intervention and 2 control groups) were selected. Smokingstatus was assessed through house-to-house survey using trained volunteers. Multiple approaches includedawareness on tobacco hazards during baseline survey and distribution of multicolour anti-tobacco leaflets forintervention and control groups. Further, the intervention group received a tobacco cessation booklet and foursessions of counselling which included a one-time group counselling cum medical camp, followed by proactivecounselling through face-to-face (FTF) interview and mobile phone. In the second and fourth session, motivationalcounselling was conducted.
Results: Among 928 smokers identified, smokers in intervention and control groupsnumbered 474 (mean age: 44.6 years, SD: 9.66 years) and 454 respectively (44.5 years, SD: 10.30 years). Amongthe 474 subjects, 75 (16%) had attended the group counselling cum medical camp after completion of baselinesurvey in the intervention group, Among the remaining subjects (n=399), 88% were contacted through FTF andmobile phone (8.5%). In the second session (4-6 weeks time period), the response rate for individual counsellingwas 94% (78% through FTF and 16% through mobile phone). At 3 months, 70.4% were contacted by theirmobile phone and further, 19.6% through FTF (total 90%) while at 6 months (fourth session), the response ratewas 74% and 16.4% for FTF and mobile phone respectively, covering 90.4% of the total subjects. Overall, inthe intervention group, 97.4% of subjects were being contacted at least once and individual counselling given.
Conclusion: Proactive community centred intervention programmes using multiple approaches were found tobe successful to increase the participation rate for intervention.