Barriers and facilitators to cessation among tobacco users with concomitant mental illness attending group behavioral tobacco cessation: A qualitative study

Yvonne Olando*, Mary W. Kuria, Muthoni Mathai, Mark D. Huffman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction Quitting tobacco smoking is associated with improvements in mental health, including reductions in depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to successful cessation among tobacco using patients with concomitant mental illness undergoing a group tobacco cessation intervention program in Kenya. Methods This was a qualitative study embedded in a group behavioral tobacco cessation intervention trial in Nairobi, Kenya. Data were collected between March 2017 and August 2019. Group behavioral tobacco cessation meetings were held bimonthly for the first 3 months and monthly for the next 3 months for each intervention group. Field notes of group discussions were used to identify key themes using an inductive approach. Data were transcribed, coded, analyzed, interpreted and categorized by two team members. Results A purposive sample of 49 tobacco-using patients with concomitant mental illness participated in 5 focus groups. Mean (SD) age was 33.4 (6) years, 22.4% were women, 98% smoked cigarettes, and mean (SD) Fagerström score was 5.9 (1.5). Barriers experienced included: 1) peer influence, 2) withdrawal symptoms, 3) fear of complete cessation, 4) other substance use, and 5) end-of-month disputes. Facilitators used by participants included: 1) oral stimulation, and 2) spousal and friend support. Conclusions Tobacco users with concomitant mental illness face important barriers when trying to quit. Thus, more frequent and intensive tobacco cessation interventions may be needed, including supplementary group behavioral counseling by telephonic follow-up or online group sessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTobacco Prevention and Cessation
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Kenya
  • cessation barriers
  • group therapy
  • mental illness
  • qualitative
  • tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

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