The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Regina H. Rackow1, Donna C. Bond2; 1Respiratory Therapy, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA; 2Nursing, Carilon Clinic, Roanoke, VA

Background: Cigarette smoking is the most prevalent health risk behavior in the United States, with tobacco-related disease and disability accounting for $50 billion in medical expenditures and 400,000 deaths annually. Seventy percent of current smokers want to quit smoking. The smoking rate in the Roanoke Valley is ten percent higher than the state or national average. Research has shown that smoking cessation counseling lasting as little as ten minutes can significantly increase cessation rates. Hospitalization is an ideal opportunity to reach smokers when they may be especially receptive to smoking cessation interventions. Method: Hospitalized patients are referred to our program. Respiratory Therapists, who are trained interventionists, assess the level of nicotine dependence and behavioral activities associated with the use of tobacco. Based on the assessments, the following information is discussed: the smoker’s motivation to quit, personal risk factors, smoking triggers/ behaviors, identification of an individual to provide support, quit date, and other pertinent information. The patient is then assisted in the selection of a method for nicotine cessation. Written materials are provided and tailored to each patient. Follow-up telephone counseling occurs after discharge. Total time investment is approximately 30 minutes per patient. Results: Since this program started in 2001, close to 8000 patients have received the intervention. Of the patients we have been able to follow for a year after discharge; thirty-three percent continue to abstain from tobacco and twenty-seven percent of patients have decreased the amount of cigarettes smoked. Discussion: This program has identified many opportunities to improve the process. We have identified barriers which prevent intervention assessment on a majority of patients. Inappropriate referrals also decrease the amount of time that the interventionist has available to spend with patients. A new program is being trialed at the hospital to educate staff nurses to provide a brief, structured smoking cessation intervention for all smokers and refer patients who need more intensive counseling to the Respiratory Therapist. Sponsored Research - None