Exploring The Association Between Beliefs About Acupuncture, Smoking Cessation Outcomes, And Adherence To Auricular Acupuncture Treatment In A Residential Spiritual Recovery Program
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentPublic Health and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Public Health
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The literature demonstrates that 70% to 90% of those who are classified as chemically dependent smoke cigarettes. In addition, this population suffers more adversely from the health consequences of smoking. Furthermore, this population tends to be highly nicotine dependent. The literature also notes that in general there are low adherence rates to smoking cessation treatment. Although there is limited effectiveness of conventional smoking cessation treatments, acupuncture has demonstrated some effectiveness. However, based on the biopsychosocial model, its effectiveness may be associated with the recipient's beliefs about acupuncture's effectiveness. Hence, the purpose of this study was to determine the association between beliefs about acupuncture and smoking cessation; decrease in nicotine dependence; and adherence to smoking cessation treatment as part of an auricular acupuncture smoking cessation intervention. This study was conducted as part of Community-Based Participatory Research. The participants were residents of the "Helping Up Mission," a spiritual recovery program for men who are chemically dependent. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol was used as part of the smoking cessation intervention (participants received auricular acupuncture for 40 minutes, 3 times per week for 1 month). Prior to beginning treatment, participants (n=86) completed a baseline questionnaire that assessed their beliefs about acupuncture, level of nicotine dependence, and other covariates. Outcome were smoking cessation, decrease in nicotine dependence (assessed at their final acupuncture session), and adherence to acupuncture sessions. Data were assessed using univarate, bivariate, multivariate and survival analysis. A structured discussion group was also conducted. In this hard-to-reach population of chemically dependent smokers only two participants achieved smoking cessation, therefore, the association between beliefs about acupuncture and smoking cessation was not tested. In addition, there were no significant associations between beliefs about acupuncture and decrease in nicotine dependence or adherence to treatment. However, 40% decreased in nicotine dependence and there was a 47% adherence rate. This research demonstrated the feasibility of implementing such an intervention with a hard-to-reach, chemically dependent population.