Patient spiritual resources are increasingly included in the treatment of medical conditions such as cancers and alcohol and drug dependence, but use of spiritual resources is usually excluded from tobacco dependence treatment. We hypothesized that this omission may be linked to perceived resistance from smokers. To examine this hypothesis, we conducted a pilot survey to assess whether current smokers would consider spiritual, including religious, resources helpful if they were planning to quit. Smokers at least 18 years of age at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, (N=104) completed a brief survey of smoking behaviors and spiritual beliefs. None were attempting to quit. Of these individuals, 92 (88%) reported some history of spiritual resources (spiritual practice or belief in a Higher Power), and of those respondents, 78% reported that using spiritual resources to quit could be helpful, and 77% reported being open to having their providers encourage use of spiritual resources when quitting. Results of logistic regression analysis indicated that those aged 31-50 years (OR=3.3), those over age 50 years (OR=5.4), and women (OR=3.4) were significantly more likely to have used spiritual resources in the past. Of the 92 smokers with any history of spiritual resources, those smoking more than 15 cigarettes/day were significantly more receptive to provider encouragement of spiritual resources in a quit attempt (OR=5.4). Our data are consistent with overall beliefs in the United States about spirituality and recent trends to include spirituality in health care. We conclude that smokers, especially heavier smokers, may be receptive to using spiritual resources in a quit attempt and that spirituality in tobacco dependence treatment warrants additional investigation and program development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health