Tobacco Research at Mayo Clinic — Finding Better Options to Help People Quit
The Research Program has been in existence since April 1988 with the opening of the Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC). The Research Program has made and continues to make notable contributions to the field of addiction research and tobacco dependence interventions. Initially focused on nicotine replacement therapy trials, the Research Program has expanded to include behavioral interventions for tobacco users, population-based epidemiological studies, studies to determine the cost-effectiveness of various interventions studies, and outcomes research. Mayo researchers have conducted over 110 randomized clinical trials involving more than 25,000 research subjects. The Research Program portfolio continues to grow through investigator-initiated peer-reviewed grants and industry-sponsored research. Investigators from the Research Program have published over 350 peer-review articles in the last ten years, and the scholarly output continues to grow.
The Research Program's strength lies in collaboration as well as its wide reach. Investigators are currently conducting numerous tobacco research studies focusing on specific groups of individuals. Some of these studies are aimed at helping men and women who use smokeless tobacco, while others focus on individuals who smoke. One area of research looks at ways to help smokers with specific health conditions, including individuals with high blood pressure and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other studies work with young adults (college age) who are currently smoking and would like to quit. In addition, newer studies are investigating various types of complementary and integrative medicine therapies for cigarette smokers.
The studies of the NDC Research Program are often highly visible within the regional community. Standard recruitment technique using press releases; flyers; print, ads, and television ads; and letters; have each proven to be very effective means of recruitment. All calls from prospective participants come through one central phone line, enabling research staff to ask a series of questions that assist the staff in finding the right study for each individual.
In response to overwhelming requests for an additional site at which to receive study treatments, the Research Program established an outreach office at Mayo Health System's Franciscan Skemp LaCrosse, Wis., location, in 1996.
In the NDC Research Program, as it is throughout Mayo Clinic, the goal is to place the needs of the patient first, integrating research into the clinical practice and returning findings into the educational setting. These pages contain many examples of this -- for more information on studies or other aspects of the research program, please contact the Research Program at the Nicotine Dependence Center.
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