Table 2 Minimal dataset items, evaluation indicators and related decisions
MDS questionEvaluation indicatorsInforms decisions about:
Questions to be asked at the intake call (first call client speaks to quitline staff)
(1) How can I help you?Reason for callingEffectiveness of promotion and linkages with other components of comprehensive tobacco strategy.
    Help quitting
    Help staying quit
    Refer someone else
    General information about service
(2) Are you calling for:Caller profile: who is callingMeasure degree to which smokers or proxy callers respond and extent to which potential referral agents are aware of quitline services.
    self
    someone else? Are you
    health professional
    friend or family member
    community organisation, worksite, insurance
(3) How did you hear about the quitline?Awareness of quitlineEffectiveness of promotion
    media
    other advertising
    referral
(4) Is this your first call to the quitline in the past year?Status: first time or repeat callerDistinguish first time and repeat callers
(5) Do you currently smoke cigarettes:    every day, some days, not at all?If not at all when was last time you smoked a cigarette, even a puff?Caller profile: tobacco behavioursProfile of the types and frequency of tobacco use among callers
(6) How many cigarettes do you smoke per day on the days you smoke?
(7) Do you currently use other tobacco products?    How much other tobacco do you use per week?
(8) How soon after you wake up do you smoke your first cigarette?Level of addiction and readiness to quit are predictors of success in quitting. These can also help tailor service delivery.
(9) Do you intend to quit within the next 30 days?
(10) Are you male or female?Caller profile: Demographic CharacteristicsProfile of who is calling the quitline.
(11) What year were you born?
(12) What is your zip (postal) code?Allows comparison with characteristics of target population.
(13) What is the highest level of education you have completed?
(14) USA: Are you Hispanic or Latino?Can link zip code/postal code with national census tracts and health services data.
Which of these groups (race) best describes you?
(15) Canada: To which of the following ethnic or cultural groups did your ancestors belong?Can target promotion strategies to specific demographic, ethnic or geographic groups.
Questions to be asked at the follow-up interview (conducted seven months after intake)
(1) Overall how satisfied were you with the service received from the quitline?Client satisfactionCaller satisfaction with services (useful to service providers and to inform funders)
(2) Do you currently smoke cigarettes:Changes in tobacco behavioursChanges in tobacco behaviours, particularly quit attempts and quit rates, provide evidence of quitline effectiveness.
    Every day, some days, not at all? If not at all when was last time you smoked a cigarette, even a puff?
    How many cigarettes do you smoke per day on the days you smoke?Questions about changes in the type of tobacco used can help identify whether smokers are switching tobacco products rather than quitting.
(3) Do you currently use other tobacco products?
    How much other tobacco do you use per week?Q4 and Q5 provide information on explanatory factors, such as level of addiction and readiness to quit. This is important because quitlines serve different types of smokers.
(4) How soon after you wake up do you smoke your first cigarette?
(5) Do you intend to quit within the next 30 days?
(6) Since you first called the quitline on [date] did you quit using tobacco for 24 hours or longer?Q6 measures quit altempts.Q7 can be used to determine length of quit as per SRNT recommendations. Current SRNT recommendations for prolonged abstinence are difficult for quitlines to implement, given nature of intervention.
Optional: When was last time you smoked a cigarette, even a puff?
(7) Have you smoked any cigarettes, even a puff, or used other tobacco in the last 30 days?
(8) Since you first called the quitline on [date] have you used anything to help you quit? (eg, medication, self help, physician, etc)Other cessation aidsPredicts quit success.