4 years ago

Health professionals’ personal behaviours hindering health promotion: A study of nurses who smoke

Olga Lopez-Dicastillo, Agurtzane Mujika, Angus Forbes, María Arantzamendi
Aim To explore the views of current and ex-smoker nurses on their role in supporting patients to stop smoking. Background Long-term conditions are closely linked to harmful lifestyle behaviours, including smoking and overeating. Health professionals have an important role to play in promoting healthier lifestyles. It has been described that nurses’ health behaviours may be a barrier to their health promotion practice. There is a need to gain further understanding on why nurses’ health promotion activity is influenced by their own health behaviour. Design A secondary analysis of qualitative data gathered in 2010 in the context of a project that aimed to develop a smoking cessation intervention for nurses. Methods Eleven transcripts of semi-structured interviews conducted with nurses (current and ex-smokers) working in one university hospital in Spain. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Findings Nurses who smoked engaged in social justification in terms of social norms and work stress. Only nurses who had quit smoking were able to identify the negative feelings it generated and the effect that it had on their past health promotion practice. This was expressed by ex-smokers as an internal conflict that prevented them from supporting patients with their own habit. Conclusion Nurses who smoke may be inhibited as health promoters without being aware of it. Interventions that focus on helping these professionals deal with the challenges associated with these encounters are necessary if health promotion practices are to be enhanced. Targeting this conflict might also work to improve their lifestyle, which would expand the potential impact to professionals’ own health.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jan.13343

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