Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander utilisation of the Quitline service for smoking cessation in South Australia

Suzanne Cosh A C , Lauren Maksimovic A , Kerry Ettridge A , David Copley B and Jacqueline A. Bowden A

A Tobacco Control Research and Evaluation Program, Cancer Council South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5063, Australia.

B QuitSA, Cancer Council South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5063, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: tcre@cancersa.org.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 19(2) 113-118 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY11152
Submitted: 6 December 2011  Accepted: 26 April 2012   Published: 4 June 2012

Abstract

Smoking prevalence among Indigenous Australians far exceeds that of non-Indigenous Australians and is considered the greatest contributor to burden of disease for Indigenous Australians. The Quitline is a primary intervention for facilitating smoking cessation and, given the health implications of tobacco use, maximising its effectiveness for Indigenous Australians is imperative. However, the utilisation and effectiveness of this service within the Indigenous Australian population has not been examined. This study explores the utilisation of the South Australian Quitline by smokers identifying as Indigenous Australian. Quitline counsellors collected data regarding demographic characteristics, and smoking and quitting behaviour from Quitline callers in 2010. Results indicated that the proportion of Indigenous and non-Indigenous smokers who registered for the service was comparable. Demographic variables and smoking addiction at time of registration with the Quitline were similar for Indigenous and non-Indigenous callers. However, results indicated that Indigenous callers received significantly fewer callbacks than non-Indigenous callers and were significantly less likely to set a quit date. Significantly fewer Indigenous callers reported that they were still successfully quit at 3 months. Thus, Indigenous Australian callers may be less engaged with the Quitline and further research is required exploring whether the service could be tailored to make it more engaging for Indigenous Australians who smoke.

Additional keywords: Indigenous health, intervention, smoker, telephone counselling, tobacco.


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