Tobacco Cessation Training for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practitioners: Results of a Practice-Based Trial

Myra L. Muramoto, Judith S. Gordon, Melanie L. Bell, Mark Nichter, Lysbeth Floden, Amy Howerter, Cheryl K. Ritenbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction Brief behavioral intervention (BI) is a tobacco-cessation best practice well established among conventional healthcare practitioners. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners treat significant numbers of tobacco users, but do not systematically receive BI training. The CAM Reach study developed and evaluated a tobacco cessation BI training program/practice system intervention adapted specifically for CAM practitioners, and evaluated in real-world CAM practices. Study design Single-arm intervention. Data were collected in 2010–2014 and analyzed in 2015. Setting/participants Private practices of 30 chiropractors, 27 acupuncturists, 42 massage therapists (N=99), in metropolitan Tucson, Arizona. Intervention Eight-hour tobacco cessation BI continuing education workshop, in-office BI skills practice/assessment, and system intervention. Training tailored to the CAM practice setting addressed tobacco cessation best practices from the U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines. Main outcome measures Seventeen items (assessing practitioner behavior, motivation, and self-efficacy with tobacco cessation) comprising three factors, Tobacco Cessation Activity, Tobacco Cessation Motivation, and Non-CAM Tobacco Cessation Comfort, were assessed at baseline and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-training by practitioner self-report. Research staff visited practices at approximately the same intervals to directly observe changes in clinical practice systems. Results At 3 months, there were significant increases in practitioners’ tobacco cessation activities, motivation and confidence in helping patients quit tobacco, and comfort with providing information and referrals for guideline-based tobacco cessation aids (p<0.0001). Practitioners significantly increased rates of discussing cessation medications with patients (AOR=3.76, 95% CI=1.84, 7.68), and routinely asking about tobacco use in clinical practice (AOR=2.62, 95% CI=1.11, 6.20). Increases occurred across all three practitioner types and were sustained at 12 months—despite heterogeneity in professional training, practice patterns/organization, and practice business models. Conclusions Results suggest CAM practitioners are willing and able to offer BIs, and are an important, yet overlooked channel for promoting tobacco cessation and use of evidence-based cessation aids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e35-e44
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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