Hospital admission provides a powerful opportunity to promote smoking cessation. We explored patients' and healthcare professionals' (HCP) views of a specialist smoking cessation service comprising systematic smoking ascertainment, default provision of pharmacotherapy and behavioural counselling at the bedside, and post-discharge follow-up, in a clinical trial in a United Kingdom teaching hospital.
Semi-structured interviews with 30 patients who were offered the intervention, and 27 HCPs working on intervention wards, were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.
The shock of being admitted, and awareness that smoking may have contributed to the need for hospital admission, caused many patients to reassess their quit intentions. Most patients felt the service was too good an opportunity to pass up, because having long-term support and progress monitored was more likely to result in abstinence than trying alone. Had they not been approached, many patients reported that they would have attempted to quit alone, though some would have been discouraged from doing so by pharmacotherapy costs. Service delivery by a specialist advisor was favoured by patients and HCPs, largely because HCPs lacked time and expertise to intervene. HCPs reported that in usual practice, discussions about smoking were usually limited to ascertainment of smoking status. Timing of service delivery and improved co-ordination between service staff and inpatient ward staff were matters to address.
A hospital-based specialist smoking cessation service designed to identify smokers and initiate cessation support at the bedside was deemed appropriate by patients and HCPs.
Trial registration: ISRCTN25441641.
Bains, M., Britton, J., Marsh, J., Jayes, L., & Murray, R. L. (2014). Patients' and healthcare professionals' views on a specialist smoking cessation service delivered in a United Kingdom hospital: a qualitative study. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 12(2), doi:10.1186/1617-9625-12-2