Increasing hospital-wide delivery of smoking cessation care for nicotine-dependent in-patients: a multi-strategic intervention trial


Megan Freund, Newcastle Institute of Public Health, the University of Newcastle, and Hunter New England Population Health Service Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia. E-mail:


Aims, design and intervention  Smoking care provision to in-patients is important in assisting smoking cessation and for management of nicotine withdrawal. Limited studies have reported the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase the hospital-wide provision of such care. A quasi-experimental matched-pair trial, involving two intervention and two control hospitals in NSW, Australia, investigated whether a multi-strategic intervention increased hospital-wide smoking care provision.

Participants and measurements  Patient surveys (n = 274–347 per experimental condition), medical notes audits (n = 181–228) and health professional surveys (n = 229–302) were used to collect outcome data at baseline and follow-up.

Findings  Significantly greater increases in intervention hospitals compared to control hospitals were found for patient-reported offer of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) (intervention 34% versus control 12%), provision of NRT (16% versus 4%) and provision of written resources (11% versus 2%), and for the recording in medical notes of smoking management discussion (13% versus 3%), offer of NRT (24% versus 3%) and provision of NRT (21% versus 5%). Intervention group health professionals reported significantly greater increases in the mean estimate of patients who: had their smoking management discussed (30% versus 17%); were offered or provided with NRT (30% versus 18%); were asked their intention to smoke post-discharge (22% versus 10%); and were provided with discharge NRT (21% versus 4%).

Conclusions  Implementation of a multi-strategic intervention is effective in increasing hospital smoking care delivery, particularly the provision of NRT. Research is required to identify methods to increase further the delivery of this and other forms of smoking care.