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Improving smoking cessation support for people with multiple sclerosis: A qualitative analysis of clinicians’ views and current practice

  • Lisa B Grech
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Medicine Monash Health, School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, TRF Building, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.
    Affiliations
    Medicine Monash Health, School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia

    Department of Health Sciences, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

    Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    Department of Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Assunta Hunter
    Affiliations
    Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Roshan das Nair
    Affiliations
    Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

    Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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  • Ron Borland
    Affiliations
    Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

    The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Claudia H Marck
    Affiliations
    Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
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Published:September 27, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.103289

      Highlights

      • Smoking status is routinely assessed at initial appointments, but not at follow-up.
      • MS clinicians provide patients with information about smoking on disease outcomes.
      • MS clinicians vary in smoking cessation support practices and referrals.
      • Smoking cessation resources tailored for people with MS, clinician training and stronger collaboration with smoking cessation service providers is required.

      Abstract

      Introduction Smoking is a key modifiable risk factor in multiple sclerosis (MS). MS healthcare providers have a central role informing people of the deleterious effects of smoking on MS progression and promote smoking cessation, yet there is limited information about smoking cessation and support provided by these providers. This study aimed to gain an understanding of MS healthcare providers current practices, barriers and facilitators related to providing smoking cessation support for people with MS.
      Methods A total of 13 MS nurses and 6 neurologists working in public and private MS clinics across Australia were recruited through professional networks and MS organisations. Telephone interviews were conducted, transcribed and evaluated using framework analysis.
      Results MS nurses and neurologists reported that they routinely assess smoking status of people with MS at initial appointments and less regularly also at follow-up appointments. Clinicians considered it important to provide information about smoking impact on MS health outcomes and advise to cease smoking, but the content and delivery varies. Beyond this, some clinicians offer referral for smoking cessation support, while others stated this was not their responsibility, especially in light of competing priorities. Many were unsure about referral pathways and options, requiring more information, training and resources.
      Conclusion Results of this research indicate that there is potential to improve support for MS clinicians to promote smoking cessation among people with MS. Smoking cessation support may include tailored patient resources, clinician training and stronger collaboration with smoking cessation service providers.
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