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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 4, 266 - 273


Implementation of a stop-smoking support program for patients and employees in a psychiatric hospital: First results

J.M. Vermeulen, P. Doedens, F. Schirmbeck, W. van den Brink, L. de Haan

background In contrast to several other countries, smoking is not an integral part of treatment during admission to a psychiatric hospital in The Netherlands.
aim Implementation of a smoking cessation program for patients and employees of a psychiatric ward of an academic medical center in The Netherlands.
method Prospective, mixed-method study of implementation of a smoking cessation program for patients and employees of a psychiatric academic hospital in Amsterdam. The program consisted of 7 weekly group meetings by certified smoking cessation coaches. Nicotine replacement therapy was provided for free, if necessary.
results During 14 months, 65 individuals were seeking help to stop smoking: 39 patients and 26 employees. Of these, 29 patients and 16 employees participated in group meetings with an average of 2.6 times per person. There were 20 individuals who visited the group meetings or received individual coaching at least 3 times (6 patients and 14 employees). Fifty-five percent of these individuals reported to be smoke-free at 3 months after joining the first meeting. Employees were much more likely to quit than patients. From interviews with 20 participants, it was noticed that combining patients and employees in one group was perceived as a barrier due to a gap in processing speed.
conclusion On the psychiatric ward of an academic hospital in The Netherlands, there was a positive experience with providing smoking cessation treatment. A small number of employees and patients participated in a smoking cessation program and quitting smoking was reached by only a few patients. Supporting smoking cessation in a psychiatric hospital asks for intensive screening, diagnosing, treatment and smoke-free policies.

keywords implementation, nicotine, smoking cessation