A  A  A   Print
Quit-Smoking Programs Work for Psychiatric Patients

Quit-Smoking Programs Work for Psychiatric Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatric patients who took part in a smoking-cessation program while they were in the hospital for treatment of mental illness were more likely to quit smoking and less likely to be hospitalized again for mental illness, a new study shows.

The findings challenge a common belief among mental-health experts that smoking is a useful tool in treating some psychiatric patients. For example, cigarettes may be used as part of a reward system or doctors may sometimes smoke with patients as a way of creating a connection, said Judith Prochaska, an associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Prochaska and her colleagues studied 224 patients at a smoke-free psychiatric hospital in California. All the patients smoked at least five cigarettes a day prior to being admitted to the hospital. The patients had a range of mental-health conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Three-quarters were suicidal. All of the patients were offered nicotine patches or gum during their hospitalization.

The patients were divided into two groups. One group took part in a smoking-cessation program while a control group received usual care. Patients in the control group were given a pamphlet about the hazards of smoking, along with information on how to quit.

The patients in the smoking-cessation program completed a computer-assisted program with individualized feedback, received a print manual, met for 15 to 30 minutes with a counselor and were offered a 10-week supply of nicotine patches if they decided they wanted to quit smoking.

The computer-assisted program was repeated three and six months after patients left the hospital to support patients who wanted to quit smoking, according to the study, which was published online Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Eighteen months after leaving the hospital, 20 percent of those in the treatment group had quit smoking, compared with 7.7 percent of those in the control group. Forty-four percent of patients in the treatment group and 56 percent of those in the control group had been readmitted to the hospital.

The findings show that helping patients quit smoking did not harm their mental-health recovery and may have even improved it, Prochaska said.

"I think some of the therapeutic contact that addressed participants' tobacco dependence, and supported them with this major health goal, may have generalized to them feeling better about their mental-health condition," Prochaska said in a Stanford news release.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.

SOURCE: Stanford University Medical Center, news release, Aug. 15, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.