Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Why do people with oral cancer continue to smoke?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Some might think that after a diagnosis of cancer - especially oral cancer - someone who smoked would simply quit. But that is not the case. This is the subject of an article from Taiwan by Chang et al. (2017) titled: 'Factors associated with continued smoking after treatment of oral cavity cancer: An age and survival time-matched study' and published in JAN. The study aims were: 'to compare the social support, depression, nicotine dependence, physical function and social–emotional function of those who continued smoking with those who quit smoking, by matching age and survival time and to identify the predictors of continued smoking during the survival period.'

The study 'compared 92 people with oral cavity cancer who continued smoking with 92 people who quit smoking'. The results of the study showed that those who quit: 'had significantly more social support, less depression and greater social–emotional function than the continued smoking group. People who were unmarried, received surgery without reconstruction, had poor social support and had poor social–emotional function were more likely to continue smoking. In conclusion, the authors say: 'healthcare professionals who care for people with oral cavity cancer should pay more attention to social support, psychological status and nicotine dependence-related symptoms of their participants during the survival period. In particular, healthcare professionals may be able to help people with coping and emotional regulation and especially with smoking cessation. Future research is needed to develop plans for the survival period that include assessment of nicotine dependence and instructions for smoking cessation, alleviation of nicotine dependence and enhancement of self-efficacy in coping with continued smoking.

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Reference

Chang S-L, Lo C-H, Peng H-L, Chen C-R, Wu S-C, Chen S-C. (2017) Factors associated with continued smoking after treatment of oral cavity cancer: An age and survival time-matched study, J Adv Nurs. 2017; https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13506

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