The impact of smoking cessation on patient quality of life

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after twelve months of smoking cessation. METHODS: This was a prospective study to evaluate the effectiveness of a smoking cessation program on the quality of life of 60 self-referred subjects, at a public hospital, during the period of August 2006 to December 2007. The program consisted of 2-h group sessions once a week during the first month and then every 15 days over six months, followed by monthly phone contacts for another six months. The treatment was based on behavior modification and the use of bupropion in combination with nicotinic replacement therapy. Abstinence was verified by exhaled CO measurements. Patient HRQoL was quantified using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire. Differences in quality of life scores between quitters and non-quitters at twelve months after the initial intervention were evaluated using analysis of covariance with baseline characteristics as covariates. RESULTS: Self-reported quality of life scores were significantly higher among the 40 quitters than among the 20 non-quitters. The following SF-36 domains were most affected: role-emotional (p = 0.008); general health (p = 0.006); vitality (p < 0.001); and mental health (p = 0.002). At twelve months after the smoking cessation intervention, the SF-36 mental component and physical component summary scores were higher among quitters than among non-quitters (p = 0.004 and p = 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings illustrate that smoking abstinence is related to better HRQoL, especially in aspects of mental health.

Quality of life; Smoking cessation; Questionnaires

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