The Development of a Nurse-Led brief intervention focusing on smoking in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients in the North Western Rheumatology Unit (NWRU)


Clodagh Duffy, Bernie Mc Gowan, Carmel Silke, Bryan Whelan.


Northwestern Rheumatology Unit, Our Ladys Hospital, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim


To enable the rheumatology nurse specialist to raise awareness of the impact of smoking on RA and to introduce a brief intervention approach (HSE, 2011) in an effort to reduce smoking rates in patients with RA.


A database of 29 newly diagnosed patients with RA attending the NWRU between Sept and November 2014 was analysed to identify the percentage of smokers and non-smokers. The brief intervention is a short session of 5 to 10 minutes duration which is used to address unhealthy habits in patients.


It uses the principles of motivational approach to enhance client centred practise. It is an evidence based framework to up skill health care workers in brief intervention and guidance practice. It is a validated tool for attaining smoking cessation. It is proposed that the clinical nurse specialists will attend the specific training program on smoking cessation provided by the health promotion department of the HSE, prior to implementing this intervention.


The results of the analyses of the database of 29 newly diagnosed RA patients attending NWRU between Sept and Nov identified that 28% of the patients were smokers.


There is no specific information leaflet available to educate the patients on the facts of smoking and RA at present. Customised leaflets, documenting smoking status, delivering brief advice, the referral of patients to smoking cessation clinics and auditing outcomes, will all be part of this nurse-led brief intervention to address the issue of smoking in patients with RA.