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Ask and Ask Again: Repeated Screening for Smoking Increases Likelihood of Prescription for Cessation Treatment Among Women Veterans.

Than CT, Bean-Mayberry B, Schweizer CA, Lee M, Chanfreau-Coffinier C, Clair K, Hamilton AB, Farmer MM. Ask and Ask Again: Repeated Screening for Smoking Increases Likelihood of Prescription for Cessation Treatment Among Women Veterans. Journal of general internal medicine. 2023 Aug 1; 38(11):2553-2559.

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BACKGROUND: Preventive screening at the point of care can increase desired clinical outcomes. However, the impact of repeated screening for tobacco use on receiving smoking cessation treatment among women Veteran population has not been documented. OBJECTIVE: To examine screening for tobacco use using clinical reminders and the association between the number of screenings and prescription for cessation treatment. DESIGN: A retrospective analysis using data from a 5-year implementation trial for cardiovascular risk identification conducted between December 2016 and March 2020. SUBJECTS: Women patients who had at least one primary care visit with a women's health provider during the study period at five primary care clinics in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. MEASURES: The outcome is prescription of pharmacotherapy or referral to behavioral counseling for smoking cessation on or after the screening date. The exposure is the number of screenings for tobacco use from the trial and the annual VA national clinical reminders during the study period. RESULTS: Of 6009 eligible patients, 5788 (96.3%) were screened at least once for tobacco use over five calendar years, and 2784 of those screened (48.1%) were reported as current and former smokers. Among current and former smokers, 709 (25.5%) received a prescription and/or referral for smoking cessation. In the adjusted model, the average predicted probability of prescription and/or referral for smoking cessation was 13.7% among current and former smokers screened once over 5 years, 18.6% among screened twice, 26.5% among screened thrice, 32.9% among screened four times, and 41.7% among screened five or six times. CONCLUSIONS: Repeated screening was associated with higher predicted probabilities of being prescribed smoking cessation treatment.

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