Proposing a Model of Proactive Outreach to Advance Clinical Research and Care Delivery for Patients Who Use Tobacco

Jessica L. Burris, Tia N. Borger, Timothy B. Baker, Steven L. Bernstein, Jamie S. Ostroff, Nancy A. Rigotti, Anne M. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There are evidence-based treatments for tobacco dependence, but inequities exist in the access to and reach of these treatments. Traditional models of tobacco treatment delivery are “reactive” and typically provide treatment only to patients who are highly motivated to quit and seek out tobacco treatment. Newer models involve “proactive” outreach, with benefits that include increasing access to tobacco treatment, prompting quit attempts among patients with low motivation, addressing health disparities, and improving population-level quit rates. However, the definition of “proactive” is not clear, and adoption has been slow. This commentary introduces a comprehensive yet flexible model of proactive outreach and describes how proactive outreach can optimize clinical research and care delivery in these domains: (1) identifying the population, (2) offering treatment, and (3) delivering treatment. Dimensions relevant to each domain are the intensity of proactive outreach (low to high) and the extent to which proactive outreach activities rely on human interaction or are facilitated by information technology (IT). Adoption of the proposed proactive outreach model could improve the precision and rigor with which tobacco cessation research and tobacco treatment programs report data, which could have a positive effect on care delivery and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2548-2552
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
JSO receives royalties from UpToDate. NAR receives royalties from UpToDate and consults for and has a research grant from Achieve Life Sciences. No other authors have any conflicts of interest to declare.

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers P30 CA177558 (Patient Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility and Research Communications Office), P30 CA177558-05S5, P30 CA016359-38S5, P30 CA006516-54S2, P30 CA008748-52S, and 3P30 CA077598-19S3. The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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