Year of Publication

2017

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Sarah B. Wackerbarth

Committee Member

Dr. Kathi Harp

Committee Member

Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli

Abstract

Introduction: Tobacco use among those with mental illnesses is substantially higher than the general population. To avoid tobacco related comorbidities, tobacco policies are an important aspect for control of tobacco use, exposure, and to support tobacco treatment.

Aim: To conduct a systematic literature review of tobacco treatment policies in psychiatric institutions and examine the knowledge, availability of resources, and perceived barriers for treating tobacco use among managers.

Method: There were two main parts used to examine tobacco treatment policies in psychiatric facilities. First, a review of the literature summarized the effect of different tobacco-free policies on tobacco treatment delivery in psychiatric facilities. Second, a cross-sectional survey was used to determine the knowledge, availability of resources, and perceived barriers to tobacco treatment among managers in a psychiatric facility; and compare the responses of clinician and non-clinician managers.

Results: Some studies found insufficient knowledge about smoking cessation interventions and the introduction of smoke-free policies in all studies was associated with increases in tobacco treatment being offered to patients in various psychiatric settings. Some of the respondents seemed to have a misperception regarding the provision of a tobacco treatment program and lacked knowledge about the availability of resources for treating tobacco dependence. In addition, a majority of respondents demonstrated poor knowledge about tobacco-related signage and written material for tobacco use policies.

Discussion: The public health implications of restricting tobacco use in and around a psychiatric hospital are to decrease the risk of second-hand smoking, increase patient adherence, and reduce tobacco use among those with mental illness.

Conclusion: The importance of promoting policies to reduce tobacco use, exposure, and supporting tobacco treatment is vital to the health and well-being for mentally ill individuals.

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