Starting in September of 2019, BHWP began work on a seven-month project for National Jewish Health (NJH) to investigate the experiences of rural tobacco quitline users. With the intention to assist NJH in better reaching, engaging, and sustaining interaction with rural tobacco users, BHWP provided NJH with a comprehensive report examining the facilitators and barriers to their quitline use. Although state tobacco quitlines have long-demonstrated an evidence-base for effectively helping people to quit smoking, their utilization rate remains low, particularly among rural tobacco users. In delivering its comprehensive report at the conclusion of the project, BHWP thus empowered NJH to examine its existing services and consider new approaches to drive utilization and close the urban-rural gap.
The research performed for the NJH report featured several key elements. First, NJH administered a co-designed survey to current rural quitline users in order to collect quantitative data for analysis regarding their user experience. Survey respondents were given the option to participate in an online focus group to collect qualitative data about their experience; BHWP administered two such focus groups comprised of these quitline-engaged users. Complementing this initiative, BHWP also administered two focus groups in Nevada comprised of rural tobacco users who had no previous experience with the quitline, collecting qualitative data based on their responses. Alongside these efforts, BHWP conducted and evaluated eleven key informant interviews with specialists in the fields of tobacco control and rural community engagement from around the country. A literature review of existing research was performed as well, with all of these efforts combining to form the comprehensive report for NJH. This report provided valuable insight to NJH and will serve as an important resource for interested organizations around the country.