Impact of smoke-free hospital grounds policies: patient experiences and perceptions.
Health Policy. 2012 Nov;108(1):93-9
Authors: Shopik NA, Schultz AS, Nykiforuk CI, Finegan BA, Kvern MA
Implementation of a smoke-free hospital grounds policy changes the health care context for patients. This article examines patient's perspectives, providing insight into the shifting culture of smoking in hospitals and the impact of smoke-free policy during hospitalization. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews (N=82) to explore patient perspectives of tobacco use, policy compliance, and abstinence support in Canadian hospitals with smoke-free grounds policies. Results indicated general support for smoke-free policies, but also highlighted that the intended goals were not realized; patients reported the policy is routinely violated, second-hand smoke exposure remained common at hospital entrances and assessment and treatment of tobacco dependency was inadequate. Patients provided rationales for policy violation, which included significant concern for personal safety. Health authorities must lend careful consideration to the effects of policy on hospitalization. Study results highlight patient views on tobacco dependence, hospitalization, and treatment expectations, which when adequately addressed could support abstinence, promote healthy recovery and hospital policy compliance.
PMID: 22940063 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]