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Assessing the second-hand effects of a new no-smoking policy in an acute mental health trust

  • Benjamin Ian Perry (a1) (a2), Katherine Meehan (a2) and Ashok Kumar Jainer (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

To examine whether a new no-smoking policy in an in-patient mental health setting had any effects outside of smoking cessation. Our hypothesis stated that a forced smoking ban for in-patients may result in an increased susceptibility for clinical incidents, aggression and lower admission rates. All patients admitted to adult in-patient mental health services in Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust were included in the analysis. Data 6 months post-implementation of the smoking policy (1 July 2015 to 1 January 2016) were compared with the same period 1 year prior (1 July 2014 to 1 January 2015). Patient demographics, admission rates, ward occupancy, average lengths of stay, numbers of reported incidents and use of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) were compared.

Results

We analysed 4223 admissions. We found a significantly increased number of admissions under the MHA (P = 0.007), a significantly greater number of reported smoking-related incidents (P < 0.001) and aggression-related incidents in the psychiatric intensive care unit (P < 0.001). However, we found no significant difference in capacity of in-patient wards (P = 0.39), admission length (P = 0.34) or total aggression-related incidents (P = 0.86).

Clinical implications

Although further comparisons over longer time periods are necessary, our results suggest that enforced smoking cessation on acutely unwell psychiatric patients admitted to the most restricted environments may have some negative effects. Nicotine replacement therapy should be offered to all patients to minimise the risk of clinical incident.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Benjamin Ian Perry (benjamin.perry@covwarkpt.nhs.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Assessing the second-hand effects of a new no-smoking policy in an acute mental health trust

  • Benjamin Ian Perry (a1) (a2), Katherine Meehan (a2) and Ashok Kumar Jainer (a2)
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