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Title: Tobacco smoking by adult emergency department patients in Australia: a point-prevalence study.
Austin Authors: Weiland, Tracey;Jelinek, George A;Taylor, Simone E ;Taylor, David McD 
Affiliation: Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Emergency Practice Innovation Centre, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Department of Emergency Medicine, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2016 2016-07-15
Publication information: Public Health Research and Practice 2016; 26(3): e2631634
Abstract: Objectives and importance of study: Tobacco smoking is the leading single cause of preventable death. International findings suggest that rates of smoking are higher among emergency department (ED) patients than the general population, suggesting that the ED may be a strategic location in which to initiate smoking cessation programs. We aimed to determine the prevalence of smoking among adult ED patients in Australia, their desire for smoking cessation and preferred methods of cessation. STUDY TYPE: Point-prevalence survey Method: A sample of adult ED patients was recruited from two tertiary referral hospital EDs. Participants were asked whether or not they currently smoked. Smokers were asked 15 additional questions, including about their readiness for smoking cessation. Demographics were collected from patients, and ED presentation characteristics were collected from medical records. RESULTS: Of 443 consecutive ED patients, 348 were eligible and 338 consented to participate. Data for 335 participants were available for analysis and 78 (23.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 19.1, 28.1) reported being current smokers. The mean age of smokers was 42.1 years, and 64.1% were male. Forty-one per cent (31/75) reported difficulty refraining from smoking, 78.1% (57/73) anticipated health problems because of smoking and 69.7% (53/76) had a desire to quit. Overall, 23/61 (37.7% of smokers) had a desire to cease smoking in the next month. The majority (44/73, 60.3%) were willing to undergo brief counselling. Multisession face-to-face counselling was most commonly preferred (22/55, 40.0%) and more than one-third (20/55, 36.4%) preferred group counselling. A session with an ED doctor (6/55, 10.9%) and multiple telephone-delivered interventions (7/55, 12.7%) were least preferred. CONCLUSION: Smoking is more prevalent among ED patients than statistics reported for the general population. Delivery of appropriate brief interventions suited to the stage of change should be trialled, along with referral from ED to counselling services.
DOI: 10.17061/phrp2631634
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Survey
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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