Near patient tests for smoking cessation

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7523.979 (Published 27 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:979
  1. Tim Coleman, senior lecturer in general practice (tim.coleman@nottingham.ac.uk)
  1. Division of Primary Care, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH

    Needs to be compared with other interventions

    Near patient testing (at the point of care) is a term used to describe investigations done in clinical settings that yield results available immediately without the need for a laboratory.1 Until now, near patient testing has been used mainly for diagnosis, such as for urine analysis, and for monitoring conditions such as diabetes or response to treatments such as warfarin.1 In addition, measurements of carbon monoxide in expired air are used to monitor smoking cessation, but this has not been evaluated fully. In this week's BMJ Barnfather and colleagues report the results of a randomised controlled trial in which a near patient test for nicotine metabolites in saliva was used to encourage smoking cessation by dental patients.2

    For each trial participant, the saliva test produced a single numerical result relating to the salivary cotinine concentration and showing how heavily the person smoked. In all, 100 smokers took the saliva test and were then randomised either to receive the test results with interpretation and feedback or not to receive the results at all. Eight weeks after …

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