according to a recent article in medical news today, a team of researchers led by dr. geoffrey williams of the university of rochester found that smokers who were counseled in a manner that encouraged them to reflect on whether they wanted to smoke and why they were trying to quit, were more likely to maintain their abstinence for two years than those who received usual care.
the theoretical underpinnings of this is a theory of motivation called self-determination theory, developed by university of rochester psychologists edward deci and richard ryan.
patients in this cessation program were asked about their willingness to and confidence in quitting, their general medical and smoking history, and life aspirations.
smokers were encouraged to develop a personalized quit plan by providing input and perspective on how smoking fit into their lives and which aspects of quitting were most daunting.
participants in a control group were simply given a list of quit resources in the community and were encouraged to visit their doctors for help, while participants in the special program received one-on-one counselling and more.
the support and choice patients received in the program resulted in a greater motivation to quit, willingness to try medications, higher levels of commitment to quit plans, and ultimately, more successes. williams said the cessation plan offered additional support to smokers that a typical doctor’s office doesn’t.
the method has also been successful for patients managing diabetes, weight loss, and dental care.
interestingly, this is how i have always worked with people. i must confess that i was not familiar with self-determination theory. it does remind me of motivational interviewing – and i am certainly familiar with self-determination practice!
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