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Amanda Mathew, Ph.D.

Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2017-2018)

Rush University Medical Center
Smoking Cessation Program Specifically Designed for COPD Patients
Social Behavioral Research Grant

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused primarily by smoking, and smoking cessation is the first-line treatment for slowing disease progression. Smokers with COPD report high rates of co-occurring conditions—nicotine dependence, depression, and anxiety—which are barriers to quitting. There is limited understanding of the psychological risk factors that commonly drive these conditions and how they can be addressed through targeted behavioral treatment. We will develop a novel smoking cessation intervention among COPD patients and use data from patients and providers to guide treatment delivery. Findings will guide a randomized, controlled trial to test an intervention with important implications for improving behavioral health and reducing morbidity and mortality among COPD patients.

Update: We have conducted over 30 qualitative interviews with current and former cigarette smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as healthcare providers who treat COPD (pulmonologists, nurses, and respiratory therapists). We identified treatment priorities of: addressing the emotional aspects of living with COPD, incorporating patients' personal values in the discussion of motivation to quit, and partnering with healthcare providers to highlight the benefits of quitting smoking for both lung health and quality of life. Patient and provider feedback has directly guided the treatment phase of the study, in which we will recruit patients who have been recently hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation to participate in one of three treatment conditions designed to teach skills for coping with negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and irritability, especially in the days and weeks after quitting smoking.

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