184942 Developing a more Queer-friendly Quitline in a Rural Midwest State

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:42 PM

Shelly Campo, PhD , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
Natoshia M. Askelson, MPH, PhD , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Esther Baker, MA , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
John B. Lowe, DrPH, FAHPA, FAAHB , School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia
Mary L. Aquilino, MSN, PhD, FNP , College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Smoking rates in LGBT communities are higher than the general population. LGBT smokers in rural areas are coping with barriers to cessation, including social stigma, discrimination, and homophobia, making it difficult to access and trust services. This project was designed to reduce disparities in access for LGBT smokers, through the development of a model program for LGBT-sensitive telephone counseling. Quitlines (QI) offer strong potential to assist in smoking cessation for this population because services are tailored, accessible, and confidential. Through counselor training the QI would become a more LGBT-friendly organization, moving along Neisen's (1997) continuum from LGBT tolerant to LGBT sensitive and eventually LGBT affirming (with LGBT-specific treatment components). Organizational capacity building began with the development of an advisory board and partnerships. Counselor training, originally designed by the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership, was modified to address state specific LGBT issues. Initial results from the pre and post test training evaluation reveal that the training was effective at changing counselors' knowledge about LGBT smoking issues and changing attitudes about LGBT clients. Particularly counselors were more aware of barriers to smoking cessation for LGBT clients. Counselors were able to define vocabulary words related to sexual orientation and they were able to recognize stereotyping that they had participated in while counseling smokers. These preliminary results indicate that counselors can be influenced by a tailored LGBT training, making Quitlines more LGBT friendly. In addition, call volume of LGBT callers to the Quitline more than doubled compared to the previous year.

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives of this research include: (1) understand how training Quitline counselors regarding LGBT issues can improve participation rates in smoking cessation programs, (2) articulate the connection between tobacco use and the gay community, and (3) recognize how partnerships with community organizations may improve services.

Keywords: Smoking Cessation, Gay

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project PI.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.