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Practicing Spirituality may Help Smokers to Quit

ual practice to assist in a quit attempt.

"Our findings suggest that although not all clinicians want to talk about spirituality with their patients, those who do feel comfortable doing so will likely find most patients who smoke are receptive. Asking smoking patients if they have a spiritual practice or belief may be important to their care," Gonzales explained.

Patient spirituality is becoming more mainstream in medicine and is accepted as integral to the treatment of many medical conditions, especially cancer, Gonzales explained. Surveys show patients would like their providers to discuss spirituality related to their health care. Along with this opportunity there is a challenge for health care providers to respect spiritual beliefs and practices that may be different from their own.

Further investigation and program development on how to include spirituality in mainstream tobacco dependence treatment is warranted, he and his team concluded.

To conduct this research, Gonzales and colleagues surveyed 104 current smokers, aged 18 or older and not attempting to quit, in smoking areas outside building on the OHSU Marquam Hill Campus. Study participants were equally male and female, on average 38 years old, and had smoked about 17 cigarettes a day for approximately 21 years. The anonymous surveys included questions about smoking behaviors, and spiritual practices and beliefs.

Of the 104 participants, 92 had some history of using spiritual resources, and of those, 78 percent believed that using those resources when making a quit attempt could be helpful. Seventy-seven percent believed having treatment staff encourage the use of spiritual resources to help them quit could be beneficial.


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