Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effectiveness of intensive group and individual interventions for smoking cessation in primary health care settings: a randomized trial

Maria Ramos1*, Joana Ripoll2, Teresa Estrades2, Isabel Socias2, Antonia Fe2, Rosa Duro2, Maria José González2 and Margarita Servera2

Author Affiliations

1 Deparment of Public Health, Balearic Department of Health, Palma, Spain

2 Primary Health Care Mallorca District, Balearic Health Service, Palma, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:89  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-89

Published: 23 February 2010



Primary: To compare the effectiveness of intensive group and individual interventions for smoking cessation in a primary health care setting; secondary: to identify the variables associated with smoking cessation.


Three-pronged clinical trial with randomisation at the individual level. We performed the following: an intensive individual intervention (III), an intensive group intervention (IGI) and a minimal intervention (MI). Included in the study were smokers who were prepared to quit smoking. Excluded from the study were individuals aged less than 18 years or with severe mental conditions or terminal illnesses. The outcome measure was continued abstinence at 12 months confirmed through CO-oximetry (CO). The analysis was based on intention to treat.


In total, 287 smokers were recruited: 81 in the III, 111 in the IGI, and 95 in the MI. Continued abstinence at 12 months confirmed through CO was 7.4% in the III, 5.4% in the IGI, and 1% in the MI. No significant differences were noted between III and MI on the one hand, and between IGI and MI on the other [RR 7.04 (0.9-7.2) and RR 5.1 (0.6-41.9), respectively]. No differences were noted between IGI and III [RR 0.7 (0.2-2.2)]. In multivariate analysis, only overall visit length showed a statistically significant association with smoking cessation.


The effectiveness of intensive smoking interventions in this study was lower than expected. No statistically significant differences were found between the results of individual and group interventions.

Trial registration number