Assessing the structure of smoking cessation care in the Veterans Health Administration

Scott E. Sherman, Elizabeth M. Yano, Laura S. York, Andy B. Lanto, Bruce A. Chernof, Brian S. Mittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. National smoking cessation practice guidelines offer recommendations regarding the processes and structure of care. Facilities routinely measure the processes of care but not the structure of care. This pilot study assessed the structure of smoking cessation care at Veterans Health Administration facilities. Methods. Key informants at 18 sites completed a brief checklist survey adapted from national smoking cessation guidelines. Responses were compared with detailed site surveys. Results. Guideline adherence was seen in identifying smokers and treating inpatient smokers. Areas of low adherence include offering incentives and defining staff responsibilities. The checklist survey showed poor correspondence with the detailed survey, with low agreement on systematic screening (kappa = .21) and higher agreement on primary care prescribing authority (kappa = .53). Discussion. This pilot survey provides a potential rapid method for assessing adherence to systems recommendations from, the national smoking cessation guidelines. The relatively low agreement with a more detailed survey suggests that the two surveys may have been measuring different aspects of smoking cessation care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


  • Guidelines
  • Health Care Quality Assessment
  • Organizational Structure
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Prevention Research
  • Quality Measurement
  • Questionnaires
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Structure of Care
  • Survey Methods
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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