Hospitals have a unique key role in promoting smoking cessation. However, cessation interventions are uncommon in clinical routine despite their proven effectiveness. For planning a tailored intervention for hospitalised patients we examined the characteristics of smokers in our department for lung diseases.
METHODS AND PATIENTS
From July to September 2009 we evaluated the smoking status of all admitted patients. The smoking status was validated by measuring the CO-Hb. Smokers admitted for the first time on one of our regular wards received a comprehensive questionnaire. Patients with a duration of stay of 2 days or less and patients with substantial cognitive or linguistic limitations were excluded. Clinical data was collected from the participating smokers.
25% of all admitted patients were smokers. The participation rate was almost 90% of the eligible smokers. Our questionnaire was very well accepted und provided multitude helpful information for a following cessation counselling. Up to 3 or 4 smokers per day should be anticipated for a cessation intervention at an 80-bed-hospital. At least one counselling contact could be enabled. Although 75% of participants had experienced at least one unsuccessful quit attempt, only a minority used any support or help for cessation so far.
Specific questionnaires to evaluate the smoking history of patients in hospitals are very suitable and facilitate a subsequent bedside-counseling. To come up with their key role in promoting smoking cessation more hospitals as yet should implement cessation interventions.
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