The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Deborah Patten; Department of Allied Health, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY

Background: Respiratory Therapists (RTs) treat patients with the effects of tobacco dependence daily. They have a unique opportunity to influence patients to quit. Yet RTs have not been in the forefront of tobacco treatment and prevention with discussions at the bedside. This study was done as a master’s thesis that included a review of the current problem, descriptions of evidence based practices and a review of literature describing physician, nursing and RT practices for smoking cessation. Method: This was a descriptive study consisting of surveys distributed to a convenient sample of 75 RTs. The design was appropriate to illustrate how RTs discuss smoking cessation with their patients when providing basic respiratory care. The survey consisted of eight questions in Likert five scale format adapted from a survey used by Barta and Stacy, Self-Efficacy and Behavior for Smoking Cessation Counseling Survey (Barta and Stacy, 2005). The questions regarded frequency of asking if a patient smokes;frequency of advising to quit, frequency of recommending nicotine replacement therapy; if resource materials offered; further discussions to those resistant to quitting; was time a barrier and whether RTs believe they can influence patient’s smoking behaviors. An open comment section followed each question. Demographics including age, respiratory credential, smoking status, educational background and whether participant had smoking cessation training ended the survey. Prior to distribution, the survey was evaluated by the Respiratory Care Manager and director of nursing research. The survey was approved by the hospital’s IRB as Study Number: 11-62. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. The open comment sections were summarized for common themes. Results: 29 (39%) of the surveys were completed. 45% asked patients about smoking status ‘All of the time’; 36% advised to quit ‘All of the time’; 45% believed they had ‘Some time’ to discuss; 35% believed they could ‘Definitely make a difference’; 32% received ‘Very little training’ on cessation. Conclusions: RTs regularly asked smoking status and advised to quit. They did not continue discussions when patients were unwilling to quit. Lack of time, resources and training were barriers consistent with literature. Future implications in practice include inservice training, staffing review, development of resource materials. Sponsored Research - None Sponsored Research - None