INTRODUCTION: Persons with a mental disorder smoke at higher rates and suffer disproportionate tobacco-related burden compared with the general population. The aim of this study was to determine if a smoking cessation intervention initiated during a psychiatric hospitalization and continued postdischarge was effective in reducing smoking behaviors among persons with a mental disorder.
METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted at an Australian inpatient psychiatric facility. Participants were 205 patient smokers allocated to a treatment as usual control (n = 101) or a smoking cessation intervention (n = 104) incorporating psychosocial and pharmacological support for 4 months postdischarge. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 1 week, 2, 4, and 6 months postdischarge and included abstinence from cigarettes, quit attempts, daily cigarette consumption, and nicotine dependence.
RESULTS: Rates of continuous and 7-day point prevalence abstinence did not differ between treatment conditions at the 6-month follow-up; however, point prevalence abstinence was significantly higher for intervention (11.5%) compared with control (2%) participants at 4 months (OR = 6.46, p = .01). Participants in the intervention condition reported significantly more quit attempts (F[1, 202.5] = 15.23, p = .0001), lower daily cigarette consumption (F[4, 586] = 6.5, p < .001), and lower levels of nicotine dependence (F[3, 406] = 8.5, p < .0001) compared with controls at all follow-up assessments.
CONCLUSIONS: Postdischarge cessation support was effective in encouraging quit attempts and reducing cigarette consumption up to 6 months postdischarge. Additional support strategies are required to facilitate longer-term cessation benefits for smokers with a mental disorder.
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