Table 1 Trials of call-back counselling interventions
Study/countryPopulation (follow-up rate)Intervention(s)ControlCriteria for cessation
Borland et al, 20017 Australia998 callers to Victorian quitline (66%)Additional calls, 2 or more according to need, average 2.8Motivational counselling at initial call, self help materialsQuit at 12 months (sustained for 9 months)
Borland et al, 20038 Australia1051* callers to Victorian quitline (76%)Additional calls usually over 2–3 weeks, average 4.8Quit pack and 3 mailings of tailored letters, possibility of brief counselling at initial callQuit at 12 months (sustained for 9 months)
Gilbert et al, 20069 United Kingdom1457 UK quitline callers (63%)Up to 5 calls over 4 weeks. 26% received none, 42% received ⩾4Counselling at initial call, self help materialsQuit at 12 months (sustained for 6 months)
Hollis et al, 200510 United States4614 Oregon quitline users (69%)Factorial trial of free NRT and 3 levels of counselling(1) Moderate counselling; 30–40 minutes motivational interview, brief 2nd call, tailored self help.(2) As (1) plus offer of 4 further callsBrief 15-minute telephone counselling, self help materials and referral information, +/− NRTQuit at 12 months (for >30 days)
Rabius et al, 200411 United States3522 quitline callers (∼66% at 3 months)5 calls over 2 weeks (Stanford model)Self help materialsQuit at 6 months (for 3 months)
Smith et al, 200413 Canada632 quitline callers (73% print only, 62% counselling at 12 months)(1) 50-minute initial call then 2 5–10-minute calls at 2 and 7 daysSelf help materialsQuit at 12 months (sustained)
(2) As (1) plus 4 further calls at 14, 21, 35 and 49 days (factorial with self help variants)
Zhu et al, 199614 United States3030 California quitline callers (86%)(1) single 50-minute call pre-quit dateSelf help materialsQuit at 13 months (for 12 months)
(2) As (1) plus up to 5 further calls over 1 month
Zhu et al, 200215 United States3282 California quitline callers seeking counselling (71%)Up to 7 calls over 3 months, First session pre-quit (72% received at least 1 call average 3 sessionsSelf help materials. Telephone counselling also provided if requested (32% received)Quit at 13 months (for 12 months)
Rabius et al, 2006†12 216322 American Cancer Society quitline callers (52%)3×2 factorial trial of session length and use of boostersSelf help materials onlyQuit at 6 months
Zhu et al 2004†161101 pregnant women calling California smokers’ helplineUp to 7 counselling calls (1 pre-quit, up to 6 follow-up).Quit kit including American Cancer Society booklet for pregnant smokersQuit for ⩾30 days at 3rd trimester evaluation
  • NRT, nicotine replacement therapy.

  • *In relevant arms.

  • †Not included in meta-analysis.