Objective: To test adding an interactive voice response (IVR)-supported protocol to standard quitline treatment to prevent relapse among recently quit smokers. Design: Parallel randomised controlled trial with three arms: standard quitline, standard plus technology enhanced quitline with 10 risk assessments (TEQ-10), standard plus 20 TEQ assessments (TEQ-20). Setting: Quit For Life (QFL) programme. Participants: 1785 QFL enrolees through 19 employers or health plans who were 24+ h quit. Interventions: QFL is a 5-call telephone-based cessation programme including medications and web-based support. TEQ interventions included 10 or 20 IVR-delivered relapse risk assessments over 8 weeks with automated transfer to counselling for those at risk. Main outcome measures: Self-reported 7-day and 30-day abstinence assessed at 6-month and 12-month post-enrolment (response rates: 61% and 59%, respectively). Missing data were imputed. Results: 1785 were randomised (standard n=592, TEQ-10 n=602, TEQ-20 n=591). Multiple imputation-derived, intent-to-treat 30-day quit rates (95% CI) at 6 months were 59.4% (53.7% to 63.8%) for standard, 62.3% (57.7% to 66.9%) for TEQ-10, 59.4% (53.7% to 65.1%) for TEQ-20 and 30-day quit rates at 12 months were 61.2% (55.6% to 66.8%) for standard, 60.6% (56.0% to 65.2%) for TEQ-10, 54.9% (49.0% to 60.9%) for TEQ-20. There were no significant differences in quit rates. 73.3% of TEQ participants were identified as at-risk by IVR assessments; on average, participants completed 0.41 IVR-transferred counselling calls. Positive risk assessments identified participants less likely (OR=0.56, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.76) to be abstinent at 6 months. Conclusions: Standard treatment was highly effective, with 61% remaining abstinent at 12 months using multiple imputation intent-to-treat (intent-to-treat missing=smoking quit rate: 38%). TEQ assessments identified quitters at risk for relapse. However, adding IVR-transferred counselling did not yield higher quit rates. Research is needed to determine if alternative designs can improve outcomes.
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