H3: Using motivational interviewing to start the conversation about smoking cessation

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Great American SmokeoutEvery year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society urges smokers across the nation to take part in the Great American Smokeout event. But it’s an everyday thing for Purdue Healthcare Advisors who are working with small practices and clinics as part of the Healthy Hearts in the Heartland (H3) research program.

The handful of H3 Practice Facilitators from PHA, like Managing Advisor Jennifer Anglin, assist clinicians onsite with implementing techniques to reduce the number of smokers in their patient population. It’s an aim of the H3 program because although cigarette smoking has decreased from 42% of Americans in 1965 to 17% in 2014, it’s still the single most preventable cause of disease and premature death.

Anglin says, “Even with the information widely available, products such as e-cigs, hookahs, cigars and pipes are actually on the rise.  So providers are looking for effective and positive ways to start the conversation about smoking cessation with their patients.”

She says one of the first tools that the practice facilitators employ is the use of “motivational interviewing,” a method that helps to facilitate and engage intrinsic motivation within the client in order to change behavior. Clinicians learn that quitting requires that the patient be motivated to change their behavior; and being told that smoking is bad for them doesn’t usually work.

The technique requires the asking of open-ended questions such as “What will your life be like in 5 years if you quit smoking?” and “What are some triggers that might influence you to start smoking again after you quit?” Clinicians are encouraged to create a blame-free environment and encourage self-efficacy. “It can take many tries for people to successfully quit,” says Anglin.  “We want patients to know that it’s okay!”

Anglin says she and the other facilitators urge their provider clients to use the Indiana Tobacco Quitline because it’s free; has proved to be successful; gives feedback to the provider if they are enrolled in the no-cost Preferred Provider program; and its “Text 2 Quit” option provides interactive text messages.

Anglin challenges all providers to learn more about motivational interviewing, so that patients actively include their providers in addiction recovery, and don’t ask them to “butt” out.


Writer: Jennifer Anglin, 574-773-5870, anglinj@purdue.edu

Writer: Jeanine Parsch, 765-496-7583, jeanine@purdue.edu

Tags: Quality Services

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