HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Kathuria H, Seibert RG, Cobb V, Weinstein ZM, Gowarty M, Helm ED, Wiener RS. Patient and Physician Perspectives on Treating Tobacco Dependence in Hospitalized Smokers With Substance Use Disorders: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of addiction medicine. 2019 Sep 1; 13(5):338-345.
Individuals with substance use disorders have a high prevalence of smoking cigarettes. Hospitalization represents an opportunity to deliver concurrent treatment for tobacco and other substances. Using a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, we characterized practices and perspectives of patients and physicians about smoking cessation counseling during inpatient addiction medicine consultations.
We abstracted data from 694 consecutive inpatient addiction consult notes to quantify how often physicians addressed tobacco dependence using the guideline-recommended 5As framework. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 9 addiction medicine physicians and 20 hospitalized smokers with substance use disorders. We analyzed transcripts to explore physicians' and patients' perspectives on smoking cessation conversations during inpatient addiction consultations, physician-perceived barriers and facilitators to engaging inpatients in tobacco treatment, and strategies to improve tobacco treatment in this context.
75.5% (522/694) of hospitalized substance use disorder patients were current smokers. Among smokers, 20.9% (109/522) were offered nicotine replacement while hospitalized, but only 5.4% (28/522) received the full guideline-recommended 5As. Patients and physicians reported minimal discussion about tobacco addiction during hospitalization. Physicians cited tobacco not being an immediate health threat and the perception that quitting tobacco is not a priority to patients as barriers, often limiting thorough counseling to patients with smoking-related admissions. Physicians and patients offered strategies to integrate treatment of tobacco dependence and other substances.
Inpatient addiction consultations represent a missed opportunity to counsel patients with substance use disorders to quit smoking. System-level changes are needed to coordinate treatment of tobacco and other drug dependence in hospitalized smokers.