Connecting Discovery and Delivery: The Need for More Evidence on Effective Smoking Cessation Strategies for People Living With HIV/AIDS

Compared to the general population's smoking rate of 19.8 percent, smoking prevalence among people with HIV/AIDS is two to three times higher. The author of the current study cited discovery research showing that smokers with HIV/AIDS are more likely "to be nonadherent to treatment, have a greater chance of being diagnosed with an AIDS-defining condition or dying, and report lower quality of life" than nonsmokers with HIV/AIDS. She cited a recent study showing that 86 percent of smokers with HIV/AIDS would not benefit from standard smoking cessation programs.

Using the online database Web of Science, the author identified 1,532 articles with keywords related to smoking and HIV/AIDS published from 1980 through 2008. After those with no relevance were excluded, the remaining ones were classified as discovery, delivery or review.

"The present study found a lack of delivery research on smoking among this population and a scarcity of connections between discovery and delivery research," the author wrote.

"Although there is still a need for additional discovery of health effects associated with smoking for persons living with HIV/AIDS, it is time to disseminate evidence related to delivery of effective cessation interventions for this population.

"I have two recommendations to this end," the author noted. "(1) Researchers and practitioners in the HIV/AIDS field should increase their collaborations with tobacco control researchers and practitioners, who have experience in population-specific cessation programs, and (2) because most discovery researchers are likely working toward a delivery goal (i.e., facilitating the reduction of smoking among persons living with HIV/AIDS), discovery researchers should report their findings in the context of how their contribution might aid intervention development or implementation.

"Increasing collaboration among discovery and delivery researchers and linkages between discovery and delivery literature may facilitate more efficient synthesis of new evidence across the field and a faster transition from discovery of health risks to delivery of effective interventions."