Alvydas Navickas, Justina Valančiūtė, Petras Navickas, Laura Lukavičiūtė, Vita Danilevičiūtė
Objective: To find out the prevalence of smoking in various departments of Lithuanian hospitals. Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative anonymous questionnaire study of psychiatric and non-psychiatric inpatients in Vilnius, Klaipeda and Siauliai hospitals. 228 people were interviewed: 113 in psychiatric hospitals (49.6%) and 115 in non-psychiatric inpatients (50.4%). 50.9% respondents were females (116) and 49.1% males (112). The age of respondents varied from 18 to 92 (54.5 ± 18.5). Results: In psychiatric wards were 3.5 times more smoking patients (48.7%) than in non-psychiatric wards (13.9%) (p=0.001). Males smoked nearly two times more than females – 65.5% of smokers were male in psychiatric hospitals, while 62.5% of smokers were male in non-psychiatric hospitals. People with mental disorders smoked 16.3 cigarettes per day compared to non-psychiatric patients who smoked 10.7 cigarettes per day. 55.8% of psychiatric patients smoked medium-strength cigarettes, while 43.8% of nonpsychiatric patients smoked light cigarettes (p=0.013). It was found that 96.3% of patients in psychiatric wards smoked even during their hospitalization period, along with 75% of non-psychiatric patients who reported smoking in hospital territories (p=0.008). While hospitalized, most respondents smoked outside: 57.7% of psychiatric smokers, 75.0% of non-psychiatric smokers. Also psychiatric hospitals patients smoked in toilets and even in wards. They continued smoking because it calmed them and improved their mood, psychiatric patients also remarking that smoking relieved the side effects of treatment. It is important that 85.5% of smokers and 23.8% of non-smokers in psychiatric wards commented on the necessity for special places to be designated for smoking, contrasting with 68.7% of smokers and 100% of non-smokers in non-psychiatric wards who commented to the contrary (p=0.001). Of importance, none of the respondents in this study were hospitalized due to a diagnosis associated with smoking or were receiving any treatment associated with it. Psychiatric respondents considered that the best ways to stop smoking were stop-smoking consultations, treatment, electronic cigarettes, while non-psychiatric considered electronic cigarettes, treatment and a strict prohibition of smoking to be most effective. It is interesting to note that neither group smokers gave much importance to literature against smoking. Conclusions. Smoking is a very prevalent problem in Lithuanian wards, especially amongst psychiatric patients. Patients in psychiatric wards suffer from severe smoking-related symptoms and experience more difficulties solving smoking associated problems. There is a lack of adequate attention, tools and resources for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of smoking-related mental and behavioural disorders. The lack of smoking conditions lead to smoking and non-smoking patients’ humiliation, discrimination and stigmatization of psychiatry.
Keyword(s): smoking; psychiatric wards; non-psychiatric wards; Lithuania.
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