Background: Despite the important role that health professionals have in reducing tobacco use, many have a smoking habit themselves. The prevalence of smoking is particularly high among nurses.
Objective: To test the efficacy, acceptability and feasibility of a motivational interviewing (MI) based smoking cessation intervention with nurses.
Design: Two group parallel experimental design with random allocation to groups.
Setting: A large teaching hospital in the North of Spain.
Participants: Nurses who smoked (n = 30) were randomised into two groups: motivational interviewing based intervention (n = 15) and usual care (n = 15).
Methods: Motivational interviewing based intervention consisted of four individual MI sessions. Usual care consisted of brief advice. Variables considered to assess efficacy were biochemically verified smoking cessation, mean cigarettes smoked, stages of change, self-efficacy and depression score. Variables to assess acceptability and feasibility included participant satisfaction, adherence to MI, and duration of sessions. Data were collected at: baseline, end of intervention and three months after the end of the intervention.
Results: At three month follow up, compared with the control group, more nurses in the intervention group had quit (absolute difference 33.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.6¿58.2). In the nurses who did not quit, there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in the number of cigarettes smoked per day, although progress in the stages of change was greater in the intervention group compared to the control group. Measures of acceptability and feasibility indicated good satisfaction with the intervention, with high levels of attendance and completion.
This study found a beneficial effect of motivational interviewing on nurses¿ smoking cessation. The intervention was acceptable for nurses and a number of aspects were identified that need to be considered prior to conducting a larger scale in order to optimise the intervention. Using MI might be a novel approach to the problem of health professionals who smoke.