Characteristics and predictors of readiness to quit among emergency medical patients presenting with respiratory symptomsReport as inadecuate

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International Journal of Emergency Medicine

, 4:24

First Online: 06 June 2011Received: 15 December 2009Accepted: 06 June 2011


PurposeTo examine behavioral factors that lead patients to consider quitting smoking and features associated with readiness to quit among adults who are seeking treatment in the emergency department ED for respiratory symptoms.

MethodsA toal of 665 adult smokers seeking treatment in an ED for respiratory symptoms and respiratory illness answered survey questions during the ED visit.

ResultsPatients self-reported -readiness to quit- was broadly distributed among this patient population. Patients with COPD, pneumonia or asthma perceived higher risks from smoking than other patients with respiratory complaints. Over half of all participants had scores indicative of depression. Regression analysis showed that prior efforts to quit, confidence, perceived importance of quitting and decisional balance were each significantly predictive of readiness to quit, accounting for 40% of the variance.

ConclusionsWhile many of these patients appear unaware of the connection between their symptoms and their smoking, patients with diagnosed chronic respiratory illness perceived higher risks from their smoking. In patients who do not perceive these risks, physician intervention may increase perceived risk from smoking and perceived importance of quitting. Interventions designed for the ED setting targeting this patient population should consider screening for depressive symptoms and, when appropriate, making referrals for further evaluation and-or treatment. Medications that can help alleviate depression and withdrawal symptoms while quitting smoking, such as bupropion, may be particularly useful for this subset of patients, as depression is a substantial barrier to quitting.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1865-1380-4-24 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Beth C Bock - Ernestine Jennings - Bruce M Becker - Robert Partridge - Raymond S Niaura


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