Ms Zoe Swithenbank

I hold an MSc in Public Health: Addictions and a BA (hons) from Liverpool John Moores University, a BSc from the Open University and a PGCert in Health Economics from the University of Aberdeen. I have experience of working with people who use substances, both in residential and community based treatment services, as well as with homeless health services, and am also actively involved with mental health support on both a local and national level. I am currently working as a research assistant on a smoking cessation project at the University of Aberdeen.

Smoking cessation interventions in substance use treatment services: a staff perspective

This study aimed to gather stakeholder perspectives and identify factors that need to be considered when developing a smoking cessation support programme for people in substance use treatment, as well and any barriers or facilitators to implementing such an intervention. Exploring the perceptions of staff working in these services is essential to gain a better understanding of how these may be implemented and to improve staff support and acceptance of any future interventions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff working in treatment services. Participants were asked about experiences of smoking in this setting, the relationship between smoking and substance use, suitability of treatment as a setting for smoking cessation interventions and what might be effective in an intervention. All interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was performed on the data. Most participants agreed that substance use treatment offers a suitable setting and opportunity to provide smoking cessation, and had suggestions for what form this may take. Group interventions were popular, although the need for specialist support or training and the input of those with lived experience were all highlighted. The support of staff is essential for the success of any smoking intervention to be delivered in substance use treatment, and there acceptance of and a perceived need for this to be included in the offering for service users. This study forms part of a wider research project and will be used to inform the design of an intervention to offer smoking cessation in substance use services.

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