Engaging in secondhand smoke reduction discussions with parents of hospitalized pediatric patients: a national survey of pediatric nurses in the United States

Prev Med. 2014 May;62:83-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.01.021. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Objective: To identify individual- and system-level predictors and barriers associated with US pediatric nurses' routine counseling about child secondhand smoke exposure for parents of hospitalized children.

Methods: In 2008, members of the Society of Pediatric Nurses completed a questionnaire assessing demographic, hospital systems, and work attitudes related to the following outcomes: asking about child secondhand smoke exposure, informing about sources of secondhand smoke exposure, counseling about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure, and advising a smoke-free home policy.

Results: Of 1475 eligible nurses, 888 completed the survey. We found that 39% asked, 43% informed, 29% counseled, and 25% advised parents. Nurses working in hospitals with mandatory prompts in the medical record to assess child secondhand smoke exposure, the availability of written materials for parent smokers, and regular secondhand smoke counseling training for nurses had increased odds of routinely engaging parents in secondhand smoke reduction best practices. Nurses reported parents' resistance to discussions about smoking, short hospital stays, and non-standardized care as the most common barriers to counseling parents.

Conclusion: System supports in hospitals significantly increases the odds of nurses engaging in child secondhand smoke reduction practices. Strengthening existing systems and introducing new policies are critical for nurses' engagement of parents in discussions about reducing child secondhand smoke exposure.

Keywords: Hospitalized child; Nursing education; Nursing pediatric; Pediatric hospitals; Tobacco smoke exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatric Nursing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*
  • United States


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution