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Clinical Study Protocol ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00618

Protocol for an economic evaluation of the Quitlink randomised controlled trial for accessible smoking cessation support for people with severe mental illness

  • 1Centre for Health Economics, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia
  • 2Deakin Health Economics, Centre for Population Health Research, Deakin University, Australia
  • 3Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 4Cancer Council Victoria, Australia
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne), Australia
  • 7Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Australia
  • 8IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Australia
  • 9Barwon Health, Australia
  • 10Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, School of Pychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • 11Mind Australia Limited, Australia
  • 12Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States

Smoking is a major cause of disease burden and reduced quality of life for people with severe mental illness (SMI). It places significant resource pressure on health systems and financial stress on smokers with SMI (SSMI). Telephone-based smoking cessation interventions have been shown to be cost-effective in general populations. However, evidence suggests SSMI are less likely to be referred to quitlines and little is known about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of such interventions that specifically target SSMI. The Quitlink randomised controlled trial for accessible smoking cessation support for SSMI aims to bridge this gap. This paper describes the protocol for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of Quitlink.

Quitlink will be implemented in the Australian setting, utilising the existing mental health peer workforce to link SSMI to a tailored quitline service. The effectiveness of Quitlink will be evaluated in a clustered randomised controlled trial. A cost-effectiveness evaluation will be conducted alongside the Quitlink clustered RCT with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) calculated for the cost ($AUD) per successful quit and quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained at 8 months compared with usual care from both healthcare system and limited societal perspectives. Financial implications for study participants will also be investigated. A modelled cost-effectiveness analysis will also be conducted to estimate future costs and benefits associated with any treatment effect observed during the trial. Results will be extrapolated to estimate the cost-effectiveness of rolling out Quitlink nationally. Sensitivity analyses will be undertaken to assess the impact on results from plausible variations in all modelled variables.

SSMI require additional support to quit. Quitlink utilises existing peer worker and quitline workforces and tailors quitline support specifically to provide that increased cessation support. Given Quitlink engages these existing skilled workforces, it is hypothesised that if found to be effective, it will also be found to be both cost-effective and scalable. This protocol describes the economic evaluation of Quitlink that will assess these hypotheses.

Keywords: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Quitline, mental illness, severe mental illnes, Peer worker, economic evaluation, Cost-efectiveness analysis

Received: 31 Aug 2018; Accepted: 01 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Sweeney, Moodie, Baker, Borland, Castle, Segan, Turner, Attia, Kelly, Brophy, Bonevski, Williams, Baird, White and McCarter. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Rohan Sweeney, Monash Business School, Monash University, Centre for Health Economics, Melbourne, 3806, Victoria, Australia,