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Nurs Res. 2008 Mar-Apr;57(2):123-9. doi: 10.1097/01.NNR.0000313481.39755.ea.

Tobacco intervention attitudes and practices among certified registered nurse anesthetists.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Anesthesia Clinical Research Unit, Nicotine Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



The period before surgery represents an opportunity for perioperative nurses, including certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), to address the tobacco use of their patients.


To assess the current practices and attitudes of CRNAs toward tobacco interventions.


A survey assessing current attitudes, practices and beliefs, and respondent demographics was mailed to 1,000 practicing CRNAs randomly selected from the membership of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, with one follow-up reminder. Summary statistics of survey responses were prepared.


The response rate was 44% (N = 439). Almost all respondents (92%) reported routinely asking their patients if they smoke cigarettes, and the majority felt that it was their responsibility to advise their patients to quit smoking. However, most do not routinely do so. Identified barriers to intervention included a lack of time to intervene and a lack of training. Interest in learning more about tobacco interventions was high, with strong majorities willing to take an extra 5 minutes preoperatively to intervene and to refer patients to other intervention services.


These results can inform efforts to promote tobacco use interventions in surgical patients by CRNAs. Increasing the frequency and effectiveness of tobacco use interventions provided by CRNAs would benefit not only immediate perioperative outcomes, but also the long-term health of surgical patients who take advantage of the surgical episode to initiate long-term tobacco abstinence.

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