Smoking cessation behavioural therapy in disadvantaged neighbourhoods: an explorative analysis of recruitment channels

Fiona E. Benson*, Vera Nierkens, Marc C. Willemsen, Karien Stronks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The optimum channel(s) used to recruit smokers living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods for smoking cessation behavioural therapy (SCBT) is unknown. This paper examines the channels through which smokers participating in a free, multi-session SCBT programme heard about and were referred to this service in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, and compares participants' characteristics and attendance between channels. Methods: 109 participants, recruited from free SCBT courses in disadvantaged areas of two cities in the Netherlands, underwent repeated surveys. Participants were asked how they heard about the SCBT and who referred them. Participant characteristics were compared between five channels, including the General Practitioner (GP), a community organisation, word of mouth, another health professional, and media or self-referred. Whether the channels through which people heard about or were referred to the service predicted attendance of >= 4 sessions was investigated with logistic regression analysis. Results: Over a quarter of the participants had no or primary education only, and more than half belonged to ethnic minority populations. Most participants heard through a single channel. More participants heard about (49 %) and were referred to (60 %) the SCBT by the (GP) than by any other channel. Factors influencing quit success, including psychosocial factors and nicotine dependence, did not differ significantly between channel through which participants heard about the SCBT. No channel significantly predicted attendance. Conclusion: The GP was the single most important source to both hear about and be referred to smoking cessation behavioural therapy in a disadvantaged neighbourhood. A majority of participants of low socioeconomic or ethnic minority status heard about the programme through this channel. Neither the channel through which participants heard about or were referred to the therapy influenced attendance. As such, concentrating on the channel which makes use of the existing infrastructure and which is highest yielding, the GP, would be an appropriate strategy if recruitment resources were scarce.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalSubstance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015


  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Neighbourhood
  • Reach
  • Referral
  • Smoking cessation
  • Attendance

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