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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

The right to smoke and the right to smoke-free surroundings: international comparison of smoke-free psychiatric clinic implementation experiences

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BACKGROUND: In Scandinavia, people with a severe mental disorder have a reduced life expectancy of 15-20 years compared with the general public. Smoking is a major contributor, and smoke-free policies are increasingly adopted in psychiatric clinics around the world. We compared potential facilitators and barriers among staff and management, for the implementation of smoke-free psychiatric clinics.

AIMS: To investigate the attitudes and experiences regarding smoke-free policies among managers and staff involved in the implementation processes of smoke-free psychiatric clinics at hospitals in Malmö (Sweden) and Barcelona (Spain).

METHOD: We used a qualitative methodology, with 15 semi-structured interviews. The interviews were conducted with each participant individually, and were subsequently transcribed. The data were analysed with systematic text condensation.

RESULTS: There were notable differences in how the smoke-free policies were carried out and experienced, and attitudes regarding the policy changes differed in the two settings. Key differences were the views on the right to smoke in compulsory care and to stay in smoke-free surroundings supported by smoking cessation intervention; the prioritisation of staff facilitation of smoking breaks; and views on smoking and smoke-free psychiatry. In contrast, participants agreed on the importance of staff education and management support. A smoking ban by law and belonging to a network of smoke-free hospitals were also relevant.

CONCLUSIONS: Staff education, and support from staff and management for the patients' right to stay in smoke-free surroundings, facilitated successful implementation of smoke-free policies in the psychiatric clinics, whereas supporting the right to smoke was a barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere81
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)e81
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • carers, comorbidity, human rights, in-patient treatment, Qualitative research

ID: 65751299