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45. Perceptions of Smoking Cessation and a Novel Psychosocial Intervention for Quitting among Individuals with Psychosis: A Qualitative Study
Individuals with psychosis have high rates of smoking that contribute to increasing morbidity and early mortality. Only a small proportion of smokers with serious mental illness will ever attempt to quit, and for those who do attempt to quit, many existing cessation interventions are limited in their effectiveness. This may be, in part, due to unique reasons why individuals with psychosis smoke. As part of our group’s effort to address these unique and potentially unmet needs via novel intervention development, we conducted focus group interviews with 24 smokers with psychosis currently receiving care at a community mental health center in Columbus, OH. During these interviews, participants shared their previous experiences with cessation as well as their initial perceptions of our proposed smoking cessation intervention. Many participants reported previous attempts to quit using pharmacotherapy or behavioral methods, but few indicated they had previously tried counseling to assist with quitting. Though some individuals reported modest success with cessation, most participants tended to express negative perceptions of many available smoking cessation approaches. When informed about the development of a novel smoking cessation therapy paired with pharmacotherapy, participants had mixed but generally positive perceptions. In particular, smokers with psychosis indicated that individualized and sustained cessation and counseling support may be helpful. Consideration of these findings, particularly as relevant to the development and implementation of novel cessation interventions, is warranted to improve care for smokers with psychosis.