Protocol for a feasibility study of smoking cessation in the surgical pathway before major lung surgery: Project MURRAY

Sebastian T Lugg, Amy Kerr, Salma Kadiri, Alina-Maria Budacan, Amanda Farley, Olga Perski, Robert West, Jamie Brown, David R Thickett, Babu Naidu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Introduction: Smoking prior to major thoracic surgery is the biggest risk factor for development of postoperative pulmonary complications, with 1 in 5 patients continuing to smoke before surgery. Current guidance is that all patients should stop smoking before elective surgery yet very few are offered specialist smoking cessation support. Patients would prefer support within the thoracic surgical pathway. No study has addressed the effectiveness of such an intervention in this setting on cessation. The overall aim is to determine in patients who undergo major elective thoracic surgery whether an intervention integrated (INT) into the surgical pathway improves smoking cessation rates compared with usual care (UC) of standard community/hospital based NHS smoking support. This pilot study will evaluate feasibility of a substantive trial.

Methods and analysis: Project MURRAY is a trial comparing the effectiveness of INT and UC on smoking cessation. INT is pharmacotherapy and a hybrid of behavioural support delivered by the trained healthcare practitioners (HCPs) in the thoracic surgical pathway and a complimentary web-based application. This pilot study will evaluate the feasibility of a substantive trial and study processes in 5 adult thoracic centres including the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. The primary objective is to establish the proportion of those eligible who agree to participate. Secondary objectives include evaluation of study processes. Analyses of feasibility and patient-reported outcomes will take the form of simple descriptive statistics and where appropriate, point estimates of effects sizes and associated 95% CIs.

Ethics and dissemination: The study has obtained ethical approval from NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC number 19/WM/0097). Dissemination plan includes: informing patients and HCPs; engaging multidisciplinary professionals to support a proposal of a definitive trial and submission for a full application dependent on the success of the study.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04190966; Pre-results
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere036568
JournalBMJ open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


  • adult anaesthesia
  • adult thoracic medicine
  • cardiothoracic surgery


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