The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

INPATIENT TOBACCO DEPENDENCE COUNSELING BY RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS IN A LARGE ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTER; RECOMMENDATIONS, PATIENT SATISFACTION AND RT PERCEPTIONS.

Georgianna Sergakis1, Marc K. Mays2, Leslie Grove1, Mary Holden1, Holly Karlecke1, Philip Mann1, Courtney Seibert1; 1School of Allied Medical Professions, Respiratory Therapy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 2Respiratory Therapy, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH

BACKGROUND: The Joint Commission mandates that hospitals have a tobacco-free policy that prohibits patients and visitors from tobacco use within and around the institution. The implementation of such policies, along with the discomfort of tobacco withdrawal, provides Respiratory Therapists (RT) the opportunity to proactively counsel patients about quitting, discuss proper use of tobacco pharmacotherapy and to provide referral for intensive treatment. Research supports that even brief tobacco interventions (BTI) can assist in quitting. METHOD: The implementation of a BTI consult service in a large academic medical center provided by a group of RTs trained in tobacco counseling was examined. BTI included asking about tobacco use, advising to quit, and referring to appropriate services. A retrospective chart review of the first 6 months of implementation was conducted. Patient satisfaction scores were explored using HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results. RTs providing BTIs completed a survey which measured knowledge, attitudes and confidence. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics, as appropriate. RESULTS: A total of 324 inpatients were referred, and most accepted counseling (95.7%). RTs assessed tobacco dependence and recommended pharmacotherapy for patients with no treatment (n=42) as well as recommended additional rescue pharmacotherapy (gum, lozenge) to assist in management of additional cravings (n=54). Patient satisfaction comparison was limited due to survey participation, but scores were very high overall. Therapists were confident and had positive attitudes regarding the service, but indicated a need to improve specific knowledge like pharmacotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: RTs contributed to better management of inpatients with tobacco dependence. Further research in this area regarding outcomes and tobacco cessation rates is recommended. Such evidence would support the RT's role of lung health expert and continued contribution to chronic disease self-management.
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