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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Current major depression among smokers using a state quitline

Tuesday, January 11, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Hebert KK, Cummins SE, Hernández S, Tedeschi GJ, Zhu SH. Am J Prev Med. 2011 Jan;40(1):47-53.

This study assessed current major depression and subsequent treatment outcomes among smokers calling a state quitline. A total of 844 smokers who called California Smoker’s Helpline in 2007 were screened for depression by the module of the Patients Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Additionally, the Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) was administered. Two months post-screening, follow-up evaluations were conducted to assess quit rates. Overall, nearly one-quarter of smokers (24.2%) met the criteria for major depression, and 16.5% reported symptoms indicative of mild depression. Callers with current major depression were more likely to be heavy smokers and Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition, 74.0% of smokers with current major depression had substantial social and occupational functioning deficits. At the two month follow-up, those with major depression at screening were significantly less likely to have quit smoking (18.5 % vs 28.4%). Every year more than 400,000 smokers call state quitlines in the U.S. for help with quitting each year since and almost one in four smokers who called the California Smokers' Helpline met criteria for current major depression. The authors conclude that given that large number of depressed smokers who seek help, there may be a need to develop appropriate interventions to help them quit successfully.

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