A multi-component intervention for smoking cessation among Australian male prison inmates [ 2005 - 2007 ]

Also known as: Assessing a program to stop smoking among Australian male prison inmates

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Robyn Richmond (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Alex Wodak Dr Anthony Falconer Prof Ian Anderson Prof Kay Wilhelm
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Brief description The prevalence of smoking amongst the Australian prison population is much higher than that in the general community. Despite a perception that prison inmates are unlikely to give up smoking while in prison, a recent survey has found that many inmates have attempted to quit or have reduced the amount they smoke. The same survey reported that almost a quarter of male inmates were planning to give up smoking within the next three months. Depression and anxiety are common among prison inmates. Research has shown that people with depression or anxiety problems are less likely to quit, and more likely to relapse, than smokers without these symptoms. For this reason there has been interest in incorporating antidepressant medications into quit strategies. As a group with a high prevalence of depression and anxiety, prisoners may benefit from an intervention strategy that includes an antidepressant medication. Prisoners are often poorly educated, on a low income or benefits, or from a lower socioeconomic or an indigenous background. Members of this disadvantaged group have been shown to be less likely to use preventive health services, such as smoking cessation programs. This research proposal represents the first large scale randomised controlled trial of a multi-component intervention for tobacco dependence amongst a prisoner population in the world. This project will compare the effectiveness of adding an antidepressant medication to counselling, nicotine replacement therapy, a coping with change package and referral to a Quitline. The proposed research follows a small pilot study of the feasibility of a similar intervention. It brings together the expertise of several people across Australia with experience in tobacco dependence and prison research. The results will inform future smoking interventions for prison inmates and offers a real opportunity to impact upon the health and well-being of some of the most marginalised groups in Australian society.

Funding Amount $AUD 551,500.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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