Effects of an anger management and stress control program on smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial

Bektas Murat Yalcin, Mustafa Unal, Hasan Pirdal, Tevfik Fikret Karahan
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM 2014, 27 (5): 645-60

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a cognitive behavioral therapy-oriented anger management and stress control program on smokers' quit rates.

METHODS: Of 2348 smokers, 350 were randomly allocated into study and control groups (n = 175 each). An individualized therapy cessation technique was selected for each participant (combination of behavioral counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and/or pharmacotherapy). The participants in the control group attended a standard quit program, whereas the study group also received an additional 5-session (90 minutes each) cognitive behavioral therapy-oriented program aimed at improving their anger and stress coping skills. At the beginning of the study, both groups were asked to complete the Trait Anger Scale (TAS) of the State and Trait Anger Scale and the Self-Confident (SCS) and Hopeless (HS) subscales of the Stress Coping Styles Inventory; pretest smoking status of both groups and their coping skills were compared with each other as soon as the program ended (post-test results) and after 3 and 6 months (first and second follow-up tests).

RESULTS: Although there was no difference between pretest scores on the TAS (P = .234), SCS (P = .130), and HS (P = .148) subscales, post-test results indicate that the study groups' TAS and HS scores decreased and SCS scores increased (P < .001), whereas there was no change in the control group (P > .05). The study group had a better quit level after 6 months compared with the control group (44% vs 27.4%; P < .001). The anger management and stress control program was found to have a significant effect on cessation (odds ratio, 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-3.85).

CONCLUSION: The anger and stress coping skills program may increase the success of quitting smoking.

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