Co-occurrence of schizophrenia and smoking: a qualitative study
YW Mak, AY Loke, VCL Chiang
School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
1. The smoking and quitting behaviours of people with schizophrenia are mostly similar to non-psychiatric populations, but smokers with schizophrenia claim that smoking enables them to better cope with the illness and the adverse effects of antipsychotic medications.
2. Most participants perceive smoking cessation methods ineffective and are not interested to join the smoking cessation programme. They believe that banning of smoking is the most effective way to help them quit.
3. Most participants were not motivated to quit smoking and perceived quitting smoking as very tough owing to their schizophrenia condition.
4. To facilitate smoking cessation in people with schizophrenia, it is important to (1) encourage clinicians to address the internal barriers of quitting and psychological needs of those with schizophrenia; (2) encourage family and clinicians to provide authentic human caring and constant presence that trigger more powerful change in the patients’ internal motivation rather than external motivation from authoritarian regulations or instrumental support; (3) teach individuals acceptance-related skills to increase their psychological flexibility and acceptance of cravings to smoke; and (4) provide support to access smoking cessation services.