Decision Aid for Cigarette Smokers Scheduled for Elective Surgery

David O. Warner, Annie Leblanc, Sandeep Kadimpati, Kristin S. Vickers, Yu Shi, Victor M. Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Decision aids can increase patient involvement in decision-making about health care. The study goal was to develop and test a decision aid for use by clinicians in discussion options for changing smoking behavior before and after elective surgery. Methods: In formative work, a decision aid was designed to facilitate patient-clinician discussion regarding three options: continue smoking, attempt a period of temporary abstinence, and attempt to quit smoking for good. A randomized, twogroup pilot study was then conducted in smokers evaluated in preparation for elective surgery in a preoperative clinic to test the hypothesis that the decision aid would improve measures of decisional quality compared with usual care. Results: The final decision aid consisted of three laminated cards. The front of each card included a colorful graphic describing each choice; the reverse including two to three pros and cons for each decision, a simple graphic illustrating the effects of smoking on the body, and a motivational phrase. In the randomized trial of 130 patients, the decision aid significantly (P < 0.05) improved measures of decisional quality and patient involvement in decision making (Cohen's d effect sizes of 0.76 and 1.20 for the Decisional Conflict Scale and Observing PatienT involvement In decisiON-making scale, respectively). However, the decision aid did not affect any aspect of perioperative smoking behavior, including the distribution of or adherence to choices. Conclusions: Although the use of a decision aid to facilitate clinician-patient discussions regarding tobacco use around the time of surgery substantially improved measures of decisional quality, it alone did not change perioperative tobacco use behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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