1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS PROVIDE SMOKING CESSATION COUNSELING TO HOSPITALIZED SMOKERS
Linda Allaway, B.S.,R.R.T., Homedco, Portland, Ore. Victor J. Stevens, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Ore.
An earlier study showed that a brief, bed-side counseling session using master's degree level smoking counselors significantly increased one-year quit rates among hospitalized smokers (Stevens, et al., Medical Care, 1993;31:65-72.). Can hospital respiratory therapists be trained to successfully perform the same intervention? A NCI- funded, randomized, controlled clinical trial has tested the practicality and effectiveness of this intervention model in two large hospitals using respiratory therapists as the smoking counselors. Elements of the intervention program include assessment of readiness to quit smoking (stage of change), a 20-minute counseling session tailored to the patient's stage of change, a 10-minute video tape, a variety of written materials and a follow-up phone call one to three weeks after leaving the hospital. Patient acceptance of the respiratory therapy counselors has been high with only 3% of the first 525 patients refusing to see the counselors. Of those patients seen, (n=359), 71% expressed a strong interest in quitting smoking, 53% resolved to not smoke again and 43% reported abstinence from tobacco at a follow-up interview one to three weeks after leaving the hospital. The hospital based intervention was completed one year ago and current data regarding smoking cessation in the study groups is being collected and analyzed to determine success in converting a successful temporary cessation during hospitalization with a structured intervention by respiratory therapist to long-term abstinence from cigarette smoking.