Background and Context:
For people experiencing homelessness, the rate of smoking is estimated at 77% (ANPHA, 2013). Quit, Cancer Council Victoria, and Hanover Welfare Services (HWS), have addressed this issue by working together to support men and women aged 18+ using crisis accommodation facilities at the HWS Southbank site who are interested in stopping or cutting down their smoking.
This report on practice seeks to contribute lessons on how the management of organizational relationships can assist in the delivery of a smoking cessation intervention with a hard-to-reach group.
An iterative, agile approach (Bolles and Hubbard, 2006) was used to operationalize and determine the effectiveness of the partnership between Quit and HWS. It was characterized by: initiation; planning; collaborative action; reviewing; and, refining practice.
The partnership identified the use of a brief intervention model to enhance client access to existing services including Quitline and subsidized pharmacotherapy, and for addressing individual barriers to quitting through brief advice as part of usual care (Bryant, Bonevski, Paul, O’Brien and Oakes, 2011). A steering committee, working group, communication and evaluation were techniques used to apply the partnership approach, and guide, learn from and improve project delivery – including addressing significant challenges in the provision of scripts, pharmacotherapy and client/staff engagement.
Outcomes/What was learned:
The project is currently underway. A partnership review tool (VicHealth, 2011) and partnership feedback processes have identified that: a partnership based on genuine collaboration has been established, and the challenge is to maintain its impetus. Project evaluation indicates relatively high rates of smoking with clients, significant client interest in help to stop smoking and broad support for the brief intervention model.