Cessation-related information, motivation, and behavioral skills in smokers living with HIV
There is a need for new, targeted smoking cessation interventions for smokers living with HIV. The Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model has been applied effectively to HIV-related health behaviors and was used in this qualitative study to elicit factors that could lead to the development of innovative and successful cessation interventions for this population. Twenty individuals who smoked from two clinics providing care to people living with HIV participated in open-ended interviews, responding to questions covering the domains of the IMB model, as applied to smokers living with HIV. Participants were enrolled from a larger survey cohort to recruit into groups based on the impact of HIV diagnosis on smoking as well as attempting to enroll a mix of demographics characteristics. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded and thematically analyzed using a grounded theory qualitative approach. Interviews continued until thematic saturation was reached. Major themes included: Presence of knowledge deficits regarding HIV-specific health risks of smoking; use of smoking for emotional regulation, where many reported close contacts who smoke and concern with the effect of cessation on their social networks; Use of smoking cessation aids or a telephone-based wellness intervention were acceptable to most. Providing HIV-specific information in cessation advice is of the utmost importance for clinicians caring for smokers living with HIV, as this theme was noted consistently as a potential motivator to quit. Innovative and effective interventions must account for the social aspect of smoking and address other methods of emotional regulation in this population.