A meta-ethnography of adult smokers’ exploring the meanings of tobacco dependency medications adherence behaviours during smoking cessation

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Aims: To synthesize the experiences and adherence of adult smokers’ with tobacco dependence medications. Design: Meta-ethnography. Data sources: Seven bibliographic databases were systematically searched until April 2016. Review Methods: A standardized appraisal tool evaluated the quality of the selected studies. Results: Seven studies met the eligibility criteria. Three major themes described the experiences and adherence of adult smokers’ with tobacco dependence medications; the psychosocial context, predilection for willpower and “natural” methods and a tendency to resist medications. Conclusion: The findings of this meta-ethnography are important to future clinical practice guideline development so health professionals contribute effectively to further reduction in smoking prevalence. Further research is needed to understand resistance to tobacco dependence medications and to inform the design of person-tailored interventions to improve tobacco dependence medication adherence that can be incorporated into smoking cessation interventions. Impact: Smoking causes more death and disability in the world than any other avoidable factor. Research on smoker perspectives on tobacco dependence medications is sparse. Tobacco dependency is a unique treatment context with specific adherence issues. Smokers are active decision-makers regarding tobacco dependence medications. Inconsistent adherence to tobacco dependency medication regimens was apparent. Implications for health professionals, healthcare policy and clinical practice guidelines regard the structure of consultations with smoking patients. It is critical for all health professionals to assess the person seeking to stop smoking and foresee the possible causes of non-adherence behaviour. Addressing non-adherence will to lead to more effective health communications and positively contribute to quality of smoking cessation care.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3286-3298
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019


  • medication adherence, nursing assessment, public health nursing, qualitative approaches, smoking, systematic reviews and meta‐analyses