A decision aid to improve smoking abstinence for families facing cancer

Karen Kane McDonnell, Linda F. Bullock, Benjamin D. Kozower, Patricia J. Hollen, Janie Heath, Virginia Rovnyak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose/Objectives: To test the feasibility of a multidisciplinary, multicomponent, theory-based decision aid. Design: Prospective, one-group repeated measures. Setting: Thoracic surgery clinic in a university hospital cancer center in central Virginia. Sample: 8 dyads, consisting of 16 total participants. Methods: A multidisciplinary, multicomponent smoking cessation intervention incorporated a theory-based decision aid. Enrollment occurred preoperatively; four face-to-face visits and an exit interview were conducted during six months. Main Research Variables: Feasibility was evaluated based on four criteria: recruitment, retention, adherence, and acceptability. Findings: The recruitment rate was 44%, and the retention rate was 100%. Adherence to the intervention and the acceptability of the decision aid were greater for patients than family members. Patients had greater abstinence than family members before surgery and at six months. Exit interview themes included (a) preoperative timing was acceptable and (b) involving household members who smoke was important. Conclusions: Recruiting male patients and their female partners is feasible. Participants liked convenience, autonomy, and a family approach. Family members wanted more control over cessation timing and a more intensive approach to weight and mental health management. Successful dyads worked together to maintain abstinence. Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses can assess patients' and family members' smoking status, facilitate understanding about specific benefits of smoking cessation and the obstacle posed by household smokers, and make referrals to expert resources. Encouraging smoke-free environments is an important step toward reducing secondhand smoke exposure and promoting cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-658
Number of pages10
JournalOncology Nursing Forum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Decision aid
  • Dyads
  • Family intervention
  • Thoracic neoplasms
  • Tobacco use cessation


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