The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) 34th Annual Conference, held online from September 30 to October 4, 2020. The team at the Clinical Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading nurses in psychiatry. Check back for more from APNA 2020.


A nurse-led tobacco treatment program (NL-TTP) was found to be effective for improving tobacco screening and treatment for individuals with mental illness admitted to a psychiatric facility, according to research presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) 2020 Annual Meeting, held virtually from September 30 to October 4, 2020.

In a retrospective chart review, researchers analyzed the records of patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital from September 2015 to December 2019. The researchers aimed to assess changes in the prevalence of tobacco use among patients with mental illness who were admitted to a tobacco-free inpatient psychiatric facility and to investigate the immediate and long-term effects of the NL-TTP on tobacco use screening rates, practical tobacco counseling rates, and rates of administered nicotine-replacement therapy. The NL-TTP comprised 2 trained tobacco treatment specialist nurses who provided evidence-based tobacco treatment and monitored adherence to Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines.

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Significant changes in screening for tobacco use were noted when comparing data accrued from 2015 through 2019 (93.1% vs 94.3% vs 94.4% vs 93.5% vs 90.9%; P =.009), as were significant increases in providing practical counseling and nicotine replacement therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (both P <.001). Nonsignificant decreases were reported in tobacco use prevalence when comparing data accrued from 2015 through 2019 (59.3% vs 58.6% vs 58.1% vs 58.2% vs 57.9%; P <.861).

“We recommend incorporating screening and monitoring tools in different settings where patients with [mental illness] usually seek health care,” the researchers advised. “Additionally, we recommend implementing the tracking of tobacco treatment through patient electronic medical health records to monitor the progress and improvements of tobacco services offered to people living with [mental illness].”

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Abu-Farsakh B, Al-Mrayat Y, Okoli CTC. Tobacco treatment success: four-year outcomes of a nurse-led tobacco treatment service in a tobacco-free state psychiatric setting. Presented at: APNA 34th Annual Conference; September 30-October 4, 2020.  Abstract 125.