Intentions to quit smoking: causal attribution, perceived illness severity, and event-related fear during an acute health event
Department of Emerfency Medicine; Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Smoking Cessation; Fear; Intention; Smoking; Tobacco Use Disorder
Emergency Medicine | Psychiatry
BACKGROUND: Experiencing a serious consequence related to one's health behavior may motivate behavior change. PURPOSE: This study sought to examine how causal attribution, perceived illness severity, and fear secondary to an acute health event relate to intentions to quit smoking.
METHODS: Using a cross-sectional survey design, adult emergency department patients who smoked provided demographic data and ratings of nicotine dependence, causal attribution, perceived illness severity, event-related fear, and intentions to quit smoking.
RESULTS: A linear regression analysis was used to examine the relations between the independent variables and quit intentions. We enrolled 186 participants. After adjusting for nicotine dependence, smoking-related causal attribution and event-related fear were associated with intentions to quit (beta = 0.26, p < 0.01 and beta = 0.21, p < 0.01, respectively). Perceived illness severity was correlated with event-related fear (r = 0.46, p < 0.001) but was not associated with intentions to quit (beta = -0.08, p = 0.32).
CONCLUSION: While causal attribution and event-related fear were modestly associated with quit intentions, perceived illness severity was not. Longitudinal studies are needed to better explicate the relation between these variables and behavior change milestones.
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Citation: Ann Behav Med. 2010 Dec;40(3):350-5. Link to article on publisher's site