Evaluation of the Quitline: callers’ appraisal of Quitline advisors and the Quit Book

Germain D, Letcher T, Fairthorne A

CBRC Research Paper Series No. 9

The following report presents findings from an evaluation of the Quitline conducted over a period of six months, beginning in late January 2002. Data for this evaluation were collected from interviews conducted three weeks following a caller’s initial call to the Quitline, to gauge callers’ overall satisfaction with, and experiences of the service. Cessation rates and rates of other smoking behaviour among callers were also assessed during this 3-week follow-up stage.

Of the total sample recruited during this evaluation (n=441), an intention to treat analysis indicated that, of those who smoked at their initial call (n=320), 30% (n=95) had quit smoking by the 3-week follow-up. However, only 347 of these callers further agreed at three weeks to be involved in the follow-up survey. Of these, 42% who were smokers at their initial call were quit at the 3-week follow up.

Of the 347 participants, over two-thirds of current smokers (69%) had attempted to quit in the three weeks since they had contacted the Quitline. Among those who were quit at their initial call, 65% were still quit at follow-up. Of those who were still smoking at the 3-week follow-up, daily cigarette consumption significantly declined from 22 cigarettes per day to 12 per day.

Overall, callers expressed very high levels of satisfaction with the services offered by Quitline. The majority of callers (83%) indicated that they would definitely recommend the Quitline to friends, and of those who had started smoking again, or had not yet quit, 84% said they would use the Quitline again in future.

Callers felt Quitline advisors provided understanding and support, were friendly, encouraging and responsive to needs, and also that advisors had provided relevant strategies and information to help them quit. The Quit Book was also highly regarded by respondents. The majority of respondents considered the Quit Book to be an informative and useful resource for those attempting to quit or stay quit. The vast majority of respondents felt the Quit Book was easy to understand (95% of respondents) and would definitely recommend it to friends (78% of respondents).