Practice nurses’ barriers to providing smoking cessation support

Published on April 6 2017 – Evidence-based smoking cessation guidelines can help health professionals (such as practice nurses) to provide effective behavioural counseling to their smoking patients. Yet, most practice nurses suboptimally adhere to these guidelines. This limits the effectiveness of their smoking cessation support. Interventions are needed to improve practice nurses’ guideline adherence, to ultimately increase the effectiveness of their smoking cessation support.

To develop these effective intervention, knowledge of practice nurses’ beliefs that explain their guideline adherence is required. Therefore, together with colleagues from Maastricht University, Eline Smit conducted a qualitative needs assessment among 19 Dutch practice nurses, who are actively involved in smoking cessation counselling. The study was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society.

In the individual interviews, practice nurses reported psychological (eg, low self-efficacy to increase patient motivation) and practical barriers (eg, outdated information on quit support compensation) to guideline adherence. Most of the practice nurses interviewed were interested in web-based support to overcome these barriers. The authors advise that such web-based adherence support should specifically target low self-efficacy levels by peer modelling (eg, presenting narratives of colleagues) and provides up-to-date information, which will enable practice nurses to use it during patient consultations. This will hopefully result in more effective communication about smoking cessation with their smoking patients.

Read more? de Ruijter, D., Smit, E. S., de Vries, H., Goossens, L., & Hoving, C. (2017). Understanding Dutch practice nurses’ adherence to evidence-based smoking cessation guidelines and their needs for web-based adherence support: results from semistructured interviews. BMJ Open, 7(3), e014154. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014154

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