Examining Tobacco Cessation Among Healthcare Providers Using the Theory of Planned Behavior

Thursday, 2 August 2012: 1:55 PM

Victoria H. Bierman, PhD, MSN, MSW, BS
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Carilion Clinic New River Valley Medical Center, Christiansburg, VA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify two smoking cessation barriers of healthcare providers.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the usefulness of the theory of planned behavior as a health promotion model.

Purpose: Tobacco cessation is vital in reducing the health consequences associated with smoking.  Personal tobacco use by healthcare providers creates a significant barrier to promoting smoking cessation. Although many acknowledge the health consequences of smoking, cessation is difficult with high relapse rates.  Multiple barriers hinder smoking cessation and defense mechanisms are often engaged. The purpose of this study was to examine beliefs and predict intentions of healthcare providers to quit smoking using the theory of planned behavior (TPB).

Methods: The research was a descriptive correlational design using a survey method.  The primary analyses included multiple linear regressions and path analysis. A convenience sample of 90 self-identified smoking adult healthcare workers was recruited. A power analysis was completed and IRB approval was obtained.

The survey measured the TPB constructs, self-exempting beliefs, social desirability, demographics, and tobacco use.  An exploratory factor analysis was performed and the Cronbach’s alpha for all the instruments scales was at least .70.

Results: The participants were predominately female and 55% were nurses. Most had experienced nicotine withdrawal symptoms; gaining weight and being around other smokers were perceived to make quitting more difficult.  Cessation was considered easier with support and smoking restrictions.

The TPB accounted for one-third of the variance in intention and perceived behavioral control (PBC) explained the greatest variance in quitting.  Mediational paths were computed and PBC was the only variable to mediate the relationship between intention and the indirect variable.  

Conclusion: Since smoking contradicts nursing’s health promotion role, developing targeted strategies are needed.  The TPB provides a unique approach of collecting qualitative and quantitative data to assess intentions to quit and theoretically, by strengthening positive beliefs and extinguishing negative beliefs more success can be achieved.