Smoking and alcohol cessation intervention in relation to radical cystectomy: a qualitative study of cancer patients' experiences

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Despite smoking and risky alcohol drinking being modifiable risk factors for cancer as well as postoperative complications, perioperative cessation counselling is often ignored. Little is known about how cancer patients experience smoking and alcohol interventions in relation to surgery. Therefore the aim of this study was to explore how bladder cancer patients experience a perioperative smoking and alcohol cessation intervention in relation to radical cystectomy.

    METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted in two urology out-patient clinics. We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 11 purposively sampled persons who had received the smoking and alcohol cessation intervention. The analysis followed the steps contained in the thematic network analysis.

    RESULTS: Two global themes emerged: "smoking and alcohol cessation was experienced as an integral part of bladder cancer surgery" and "returning to everyday life was a barrier for continued smoking cessation/alcohol reduction". Participants described that during hospitalization their focus shifted to the operation and they did not experience craving to smoke or drink alcohol. Concurrent with improved well-being or experiencing stressful situations, the risk of relapse increased when returning to everyday life.

    CONCLUSIONS: The smoking and alcohol cessation intervention was well received by the participants. Cancer surgery served as a kind of refuge and was a useful cue for motivating patients to quit smoking and to reconsider the consequences of risky drinking. These results adds to the sparse evidence of what supports smoking and alcohol cessation in relation to bladder cancer patients undergoing major surgery and point to the need to educate healthcare professionals in offering smoking and alcohol cessation interventions in hospitals. The study also provides knowledge about the intervention in the STOP-OP study and will help guide the design of future smoking and alcohol cessation studies aimed at cancer patients undergoing surgery.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalB M C Cancer
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)e793
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Journal Article


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