Open Access Open Badges Research article

The role of gender in a smoking cessation intervention: a cluster randomized clinical trial

Diana Puente1*, Carmen Cabezas2, Teresa Rodriguez-Blanco1, Carmen Fernández-Alonso3, Tránsito Cebrian4, Miguel Torrecilla5, Lourdes Clemente6, Carlos Martín7 and the ISTAPS study group investigators

Author Affiliations

1 IDIAP J Gol, Av. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 587, 08007-Barcelona, Spain

2 Departament de Salut, Generalitat de Catalunya, Roc Boronat 81-95, 08005-Barcelona, Spain

3 Servicio de Coordinación Sociosanitaria, Consejería de Sanidad, Paseo de Zorrilla 1, 47007-Valladolid, Spain

4 Distrito Sanitario Aljarafe. Servicio Andaluz de Salud. Junta de Andalucía, Av. de las Américas s/n, 41927-De Mairena del Aljarafe, Sevilla, Spain

5 Centro de Salud San Juan, Valencia 32, 37005-Salamanca, Spain

6 Centro de Salud Santo Grial, San Jorge 38, 22003-Huesca, Spain

7 Centre Atenció Primària Passeig de Sant Joan, Passeig de Sant Joan 20, 08010-Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:369  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-369

Published: 23 May 2011



The prevalence of smoking in Spain is high in both men and women. The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of gender in the effectiveness of a specific smoking cessation intervention conducted in Spain.


This study was a secondary analysis of a cluster randomized clinical trial in which the randomization unit was the Basic Care Unit (family physician and nurse who care for the same group of patients). The intervention consisted of a six-month period of implementing the recommendations of a Clinical Practice Guideline. A total of 2,937 current smokers at 82 Primary Care Centers in 13 different regions of Spain were included (2003-2005). The success rate was measured by a six-month continued abstinence rate at the one-year follow-up. A logistic mixed-effects regression model, taking Basic Care Units as random-effect parameter, was performed in order to analyze gender as a predictor of smoking cessation.


At the one-year follow-up, the six-month continuous abstinence quit rate was 9.4% in men and 8.5% in women (p = 0.400). The logistic mixed-effects regression model showed that women did not have a higher odds of being an ex-smoker than men after the analysis was adjusted for confounders (OR adjusted = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.7-1.2).


Gender does not appear to be a predictor of smoking cessation at the one-year follow-up in individuals presenting at Primary Care Centers. Identifier


gender; smoking cessation; primary health care; clinical trials