Hygienists' Internet Tobacco Cessation Study

Dental practices have advanced tobacco cessation by adopting a model of brief advice similar to that used by medical providers. DPBRN will do a randomized clinical trial designed to allow dental hygienists to provide additional tobacco cessation counseling with little additional marginal effort. This would be done using an internet-based referral to external resources. This system, termed "Refer2Quit", will allow hygienists to refer patients to a patient education website and accompanying Quitline, while the patient is still in the dental office. Our overall goal is to advance science related to internet use in health services delivery by targeting dental hygienists. The intervention will also support subsequent brief counseling by providing feedback on the activities of patients to the practice through a secure server.

We have these specific aims:

(1) To test the hypothesis that the proportion of patients REFERRED to self-management resource websites will be larger in intervention practices compared to control practices.

(2) To test the hypothesis that the proportion of patients referred who GO to the patient self-management website will be larger in intervention practices compared to control practices.

(3) To test the hypothesis that the proportion of smokers who are referred who QUIT at six months will be larger among intervention compared to control because of the additional connectivity of the intervention.

This will done by randomizing 80 community-based dental practices into a clinical trial that contrasts the intervention with a paper-based “information prescription”.