Depending on diagnosis and setting, up to 90 per cent of people with a mental illness continue to smoke. This population subsequently experience higher rates of cancer and other smoking related health consequences, and a 25 year shorter life expectancy. Mental health inpatient settings represent an opportunity to initiate provision of evidence based, smoking cessation care to address this inequitable health burden; however little research has investigated the receptivity of patients in these settings to a smoking cessation intervention or subsequent uptake of cessation supports offered.
To determine patient receptivity to and uptake of a smoking cessation intervention, and explore associated factors; and to describe self-reported changes in smoking behaviour throughout intervention delivery.
Mental health inpatients were approached, assessed for eligibility and if applicable, offered the opportunity to participate in a smoking cessation intervention trial. The proportion of patients that consented to take part, and utilised telephone cessation counselling and NRT was measured. Factors associated with consent and intervention uptake were explored. Self-reported changes in smoking behaviours throughout the 16 week intervention period were also measured.
Ninety per cent (n= 2098) of approached patients were receptive to talking to project staff about smoking. Sixty two per cent (n=754) of eligible patients consented to take part in the study. Of those offered the intervention, 89% and 76% respectively utilised supportive telephone counselling and NRT. Thirty per cent of intervention participants reported periods of abstaining ≥ 7 days throughout the intervention period. Eighty two per cent reported reducing their cigarette consumption.
Mental health inpatients are willing to discuss their smoking, receptive to the offer of smoking cessation care, and a large majority choose to uptake offered supports. Consideration of factors associated with intervention uptake may increase the proportion of people with mental illness who receive smoking care.