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Mobile tools boost tobacco screening and cessation counseling
Date:3/31/2014

(NEW YORK, NY, March 31, 2014) Smartphones and tablets may hold the key to getting more clinicians to screen patients for tobacco use and advise smokers on how to quit. Even though tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., clinicians often don't ask about smoking during patient exams. Using mobile phones loaded with tobacco screening guidelines prompted nurses to ask patients about their smoking habits in 84 percent of clinic visits and to offer cessation counseling to 99 percent of smokers who expressed a willingness to kick the habit, according to a study from Columbia University School of Nursing published in Oncology Nursing Forum.

"These findings suggest that mobile applications can play a significant role in curbing tobacco use," says lead study author Kenrick Cato, PhD, associate research scientist at Columbia Nursing. Currently, U.S. patients are screened for tobacco use in about 60 percent of office visits, and smokers are advised on how to quit less than 20 percent of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "These findings are a win in the ongoing battle against tobacco use, and they also point to a broader benefit of mobile applications in getting more clinicians to follow evidence-based practice guidelines," Cato says.

The study evaluated tobacco screening rates for more than 14,000 visits at clinics in New York City. Clinic patients were treated by 185 registered nurses enrolled in advanced practice degree programs at Columbia Nursing. While overall screening and counseling rates were increased by use of the mobile tools, the gains varied by race, gender and payer source, the study found. Screening was more likely to occur when patients were female or African-American, and at clinics where the predominant payer source was Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Screening was also more likely for patients with priva
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Contact: Lisa Rapaport
lr2692@cumc.columbia.edu
212-342-3795
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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