A pilot of telehealth consultations has been popular with patients and has reduced the need for frequent hospital visits
Aim To explore healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards patients with cancer who smoke and how their attitudes affect the health promotion advice they provide. Method A mixed-methods approach was adopted. The study was conducted in a regional cancer centre and involved a multi-professional cohort of staff. A questionnaire was sent to all professional groups at the centre, followed by two focus groups exploring nurses’ and radiographers’ attitudes. Results Respondents were aware of the adverse effects of smoking on patients receiving treatment for cancer, but the number that addressed smoking cessation with patients varied. Respondents reported particular concerns about addressing smoking cessation with patients receiving palliative care, as they perceived this as being too sensitive an area to discuss with patients facing a limited life expectancy. Conclusion A smoking cessation working group is now in place at the cancer centre, exploring the issues identified and providing healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to support patients with cancer who smoke.