Depressed smokers and stage of change: Implications for treatment interventions

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Tobacco Dependence among smokers with psychiatric disorders has been under-addressed by the mental health, addictions, and tobacco control communities. This study examined depressed smokers' readiness to quit and the applicability of the Stages of Change framework to a psychiatric sample. Currently depressed smokers (N = 322) were recruited from four outpatient psychiatric clinics. Participants averaged 16 cigarettes per day (S.D. = 10) and 24 years (S.D. = 13) of smoking. The majority (79%) reported intention to quit smoking with 24% ready to take action in the next 30 days. Individuals in the preparation stage reported more prior quit attempts, a greater commitment to abstinence, increased recognition of the cons of smoking, and greater use of the processes of change. Precontemplators were least likely to identify a goal related to their smoking behavior. Depressive symptom severity and history of recurrent depressive episodes were unrelated to readiness to quit. This study is one of the first to examine the smoking behaviors of currently depressed psychiatric outpatients. The level and longevity of their tobacco use underscore the need for cessation interventions. The consistency in hypothesized patterns among theoretical constructs of the Stages of Change model supports the transfer of stage-tailored interventions to this clinical population. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Drug and Alcohol Dependence