BREATHE Study Exceeds Enrollment Goal for Project 1

UW-CTRI and its partners have surpassed the goal of enrolling 600 patients in the Cessation Project of the Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health (BREATHE) Study. In fact, this goal was reached in less than a year. UW-CTRI is collaborating with Aurora Health Care in the Milwaukee area and Dean Health System in the Madison area and Janesville to treat all smokers. More than 620 patients have enrolled in the Cessation Project.

This project builds on UW-CTRI’s P50 research (UW-PASS Study). It compares a standard treatment, including referral to the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line, with a treatment comprised of components that were found to be effective in UW-PASS—pre-quit nicotine mini-lozenges, intensive in-person counseling, maintenance counseling, automated medication adherence calls, and 26 weeks of nicotine patch + mini-lozenges.

One innovative aspect of BREATHE is how UW-CTRI, Aurora, and Dean partnered with Epic to modify the electronic health record (EHR) systems at participating health clinics in an effort to help more patients quit. Any smoker who visits a participating clinic, regardless of the initial reason for the visit, has been invited to get treatment through BREATHE.

“Meeting this goal so fast shows the terrific teamwork of our research staff and collaborators,” said UW-CTRI Associate Director of Research Dr. Megan Piper, project leader. “From our administrative support team to our health counselors meeting with patients, this has been a well-oiled machine. Our research staff did a wonderful job of working with clinic staff to ensure consistent referrals of smokers, and to provide excellent care to participants. Our very low participant dropout rate of 5% is excellent.”

Meanwhile, enrollment in the Motivation Project—designed to inspire patients who aren’t ready to quit smoking but are open to reducing it—is at about 35%. Researchers are testing 3 counseling strategies and nicotine mini-lozenges. Project 3, Long-Term Quitting, launched in November and is now the study that is enrolling smokers who want to quit.

BREATHE will culminate in a treatment system any clinic could use to address tobacco use. It’s all possible due to a $12 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.