BACKGROUND: Evidence-based smoking cessation interventions provided by healthcare professionals can be successful in helping citizens to quit smoking. Yet, evidence is needed about the active ingredients of these interventions, how these ingredients work and how they are implemented in practice. Such knowledge is required to effectively support healthcare professionals to optimally put evidence-based smoking cessation interventions to (inter)national practice.
OBJECTIVE: To identify active ingredients (including behavior change techniques), mechanisms of action and implementation fidelity reported in smoking cessation interventions in Dutch primary care settings and to relate these to intervention effectiveness.
METHODS: A systematic review was conducted by searching nine national intervention or funding databases, five international scientific databases and consulting 17 national smoking cessation experts. Out of 1,066 identified manuscripts, 40 interventions were eligible for this review. Based on published protocols, information regarding behavior change techniques and mechanisms of action was systematically abstracted. Additionally, information regarding study characteristics and other active ingredients, effects on smoking behavior and implementation fidelity was abstracted. Comparative effectiveness concerning abstracted intervention characteristics was qualitatively explored.
RESULTS: Active ingredients, mechanisms of action and implementation fidelity were moderately to poorly reported. Interventions applying behavior change techniques and interventions with a single behavioral target (i.e. smoking-only versus multiple behaviors) seemed to provide stronger evidence for successfully changing smoking behavior.
CONCLUSION: Attention to and reporting on interventions' active ingredients (e.g. behavior change techniques), mechanisms of action and implementation fidelity are prerequisites for developing more effective evidence-based smoking cessation interventions to be successfully implemented in primary healthcare.
IMPLICATIONS: This systematic review provides an overview of smoking cessation interventions in Dutch primary care settings, identified since the year 2000. Smoking cessation support is offered in various forms, but our qualitative findings show that interventions including more behavior change techniques and interventions targeting only smoking cessation (compared to multiple behaviors) might be more effective. Results also show that - based on available intervention reports - it is difficult to distinguish patterns of active ingredients (such as behavior change techniques), mechanisms of action and fidelity of implementation in relation to interventions' effectiveness. This means (quality of) reporting on these intervention characteristics should improve.
- BEHAVIOR-CHANGE INTERVENTIONS