MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Quinn R Pack MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine
Baystate Northern Region Cardiology
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and is very common among patients with heart disease. Several smoking cessation medications are available and recommended in clinical guidelines to help smokers quite. However, it was unknown how often these were used and what factors make the use of pharmacotherapy more common.
The main finding is that, across of broad range of hospitals, smoking cessation medications are infrequently used and the hospital where the patient was treated was the most important factor in determining if the patient was treated.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Smoking is a undertreated condition and hospitals are the most important factor for improving care. Hospitals (and physicians) need to be more engaged in assuring that every eligible patient is offered and prescribed effective medications to improve smoking cessations.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We need to determine which hospital strategies are associated with higher treatment rates and determine if in-hospital medication use improves long term quit rates. We know these medications work in general, but they haven’t been tested in this setting and patient population.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The reason this really matters is that smoking is a very tough addiction to cure, is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, and hospitalizations are excellent opportunities for change with high patient motivation, where a little extra support in the form of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy could go a long way. Some hospitals are really succeeding with this, so it should really be possible to improve this aspect of hospital care. Patients are highly motivated and physician need to get the training and confidence to actually use these medications. My experience is that physicians stop thinking about smoking after they tell patients to quit smoking and only rarely take the next step of providing adequate pharmacotherapy. This can and should change.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Pack QR, Priya A, Lagu TC, Pekow PS, Rigotti NA, Lindenauer PK. Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy Among Smokers Hospitalized for Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 21, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.3489
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