Research paper
CC-BY-NC 4.0

Psychiatric nurses’ knowledge and practices towards patients’ tobacco-related habits in Mental Health Hospitals in Greece in the face of the upcoming psychiatric care reform

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Health Science, Faculty of Nursing, Greece
Director of nursing, General Hospital "Asclepieion" Voulas, Athens, Greece
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2016;2(February):11
Publish date: 2016-02-28
This study aimed to investigate how the smoking status of psychiatric nurses and nurses’ assistants might influence knowledge and attitudes towards patients’ smoking habits and clinical practice in a hospital in Athens.

A questionnaire-based study was contacted among psychiatric nurses and nurses’ assistants working on two major psychiatric hospitals in Athens greater area from January to March 2015. 320 nurses were current smokers and the total sample consisted of 297 psychiatric nurses and nurses’ assistants who have agreed to complete the anonymous questionnaire.

The majority of nurses noted that psychiatric patient (yes: p = 45.5% sometimes: p = 34.3%) should be excluded from the antismoking ban. Various practices were noted among nurses concerning the assessment of patients’ smoking history, passive smoking, smoking habits and cessation plans. They stated that smoking cessation may exacerbate psychiatric symptoms (p = 45.5%) and may lead to an illness relapse (p = 45.5%). Nurses had some knowledge about the health effects of smoking (p = 96%) and they feel responsible to help patient quit smoking (p = 37.4%). They proved to be unaware of the relation between smoking, psychiatric symptoms and psychotropic medication.

The findings indicated that half of psychiatric nurses smoke in their work environment (yes: p = 37.4% and sometimes: p = 10.1%) and are against the application of the anti-smoking law in psychiatric hospitals (p = 42.4%). They believe that psychiatric patients should be handled different from other patients even though they are aware of the dangers of smoking (p = 56.6%).

Theodore Stathopoulos   
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Health Science, Faculty of Nursing, Abydou 138, 15772 Athens, Greece