Meeting Abstract

Barriers and Facilitators to smoking cessation: A qualitative study of patients', family members' and professionals' views in a cancer context



Wells M, Aitchison P, Harris F, Ozakinci G, Bauld L, Entwistle V, Munro A, Haw S, Williams B & Radley A (2016) Barriers and Facilitators to smoking cessation: A qualitative study of patients', family members' and professionals' views in a cancer context. 2016 World Congress of Psycho-oncology, Dublin. Psycho-Oncology, 25 (S3), pp. 169-169.

Background: Smoking after a diagnosis of cancer is associated with poorer outcomes, but studies show that a significant proportion of patients continue to smoke. This suggests that the opportunity for positive behaviour change, presented by a life‐threatening diagnosis, is not fully utilised. There is evidence that the smoking beliefs and behaviours of family members are important, but current interventions are primarily targeted towards individuals. This study explored health professionals', patients' and families' views of smoking cessation in the context of a recent diagnosis of cancer, to determine how best to encourage and support cessation. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with recently diagnosed cancer patients (n = 29), family members (n = 14) and health professionals (n = 24) from oncology, primary care and smoking cessation services. Interviews were analysed using the framework approach. Results: Patients' and family members' continued smoking appeared to be explained by four key factors, which present barriers to smoking cessation: the stress accompanying a diagnosis; desire to maintain personal control; lack of coherence in relation to smoking, cancer and future health; self‐perceptions as a smoker. Interviews with clinicians revealed that efforts to promote a positive patient–professional relationship could inhibit discussions about smoking and smoking cessation. Findings suggested that smoking cessation messages were not sufficiently co‐ordinated or meaningful within the cancer context. Conclusions: The barriers identified in this study have a number of implications for more effective integration of smoking cessation services into oncology care. Enabling and normalising communication strategies are required, alongside approaches that emphasise future health benefits for cancer survivors.

Psycho-Oncology: Volume 25, Issue S3

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online14/10/2016
Date accepted by journal01/11/2016
Publisher URL
Conference2016 World Congress of Psycho-oncology
Conference locationDublin

People (2)


Professor Gozde Ozakinci
Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor in Health Psychology, Psychology

Professor Mary Wells
Professor Mary Wells

Honorary Professor, NMAHP