In which I refrain from making snarky comments about Texas

I was writing a treatment plan for someone who wants to quit smoking, and I needed one of those worksheets that helps someone identify why/when/how they want to quit and set goals based on this.

I did some googling, and the first annoying thing I encountered was that most of the hits I got for "smoking assessment worksheet" and "quit smoking plan" brought up drug company websites. Now, at first I was happy that drug company sites were coming up, because a lot of the manufacturers of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers have great resources on their sites focusing on components of recovery other than medication. I have no problem with giving my clients many of these pamphlets from drug company websites. This wasn't the case with the smoking drugs; their "worksheets" all involve checking off a few boxes, which instantly leads to the determination that they're a candidate for the drug being marketed. Nice.

So, I started narrowing my search down to focusing on the sites of medical centers, public health departments, and universities, thinking they'd have more neutral information. I noticed that several pages all over the country are recommending trytostop.org, a project of our very own Massachusetts Department of Public Health. I poked around on it, and it's a wonderful site. It has lots of great information, and it has a "quit wizard" that seems to be exactly what I was looking for.

Only one problem: the site requires users to create a login, and the assessment and goal-setting is set up so that someone can only do it interactively. There is no way to just print out the questions and use the resource without a computer, or at least not without a lot of reverse engineering. Sure, I'm the first one to say that interactive gadgets are great, but come on people, this is the Department of Public Health. Aren't they, like, required to provide information in formats that are accessible to everyone? This individual has a very low income, no computer, and no computer skills. This person needs a worksheet.

Fortunately, the Texas Department of State Health Services has a much less-snazzy website, with their smoking assessment and goal-setting worksheet in a convenient .pdf format that can be printed out and handed to someone. I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from the state that has the coolest anti-littering campaign materials ever.


1 comment:

Sis B said...

Ha! Texas also has signs that say, "Drive Friendly, It's the Texas Way," which I discovered recently with my husband who is now stationed there.