Considerations for a head and neck smoking cessation support programme: a qualitative study of the challenges in quitting smoking after treatment for head and neck cancer

Ameera Abdelrahim, Claire Balmer, June Jones, Hisham Mehanna, Janet Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Smoking is a major cause of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), yet many patients who receive a diagnosis continue to smoke. This has an adverse effect on treatment and recovery, and leads to increased risks of recurrence and second cancers. There is evidence that stopping smoking after diagnosis can lead to better outcomes and reversal of risks. However, there is limited evidence for effective smoking cessation interventions in this population, and little about patient opinions regarding quitting smoking and support provided by healthcare professionals.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted as part of a larger project with the objective of developing a smoking cessation support programme. Eleven patients who had completed head and neck cancer (HNC) treatment were interviewed about smoking and quitting attempts. Interviews were semi-structured and took place face-to-face or over the phone.

Results: Participants gave detailed accounts of their smoking journey. Thematic analysis of the data led to the identification of 2 overarching themes and four interlinking themes. Themes describe the ‘guilty habit’ of smoking, perceived ‘barriers to quit’ the ‘teachable moment’ of a diagnosis and the contrary ‘social motivation’ to both smoke and quit.

Conclusions: The results of this study highlight some missed needs for this group and major gaps in the support that is available. It is intended that the results will be used to develop a support programme for quitting smoking long term in a way that is useful and relevant to this complex population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume35
Early online date6 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Smokers
  • Smoking cessation
  • Thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Considerations for a head and neck smoking cessation support programme: a qualitative study of the challenges in quitting smoking after treatment for head and neck cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this