Smoking behavior and motivation to quit among chronic pain patients initiating multidisciplinary pain treatment: a prospective study

Pain Med. 2014 Aug;15(8):1294-303. doi: 10.1111/pme.12364. Epub 2014 Feb 15.


Objective: The primary aim of this study was to assess smoking characteristics and cessation motivation prior to and after initiation of multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment. A secondary aim was to identify predictors of cessation motivation among smokers initiating treatment for chronic pain.

Design: We used a prospective, nonrandomized, repeated measures design.

Setting: The study was conducted in a multidisciplinary specialty pain treatment program at a veterans hospital.

Patients: Smokers (N = 90) referred to a multidisciplinary pain program for the treatment of chronic pain.

Measures: Patients completed questionnaires assessing pain-related and smoking-related factors prior to (baseline) and 8 weeks post (follow-up) specialty pain treatment initiation. Primary outcome measures were the Contemplation Ladder and the Stages of Change (SOC) algorithm.

Results: At baseline, patients reported moderate levels of cessation motivation, and 69% were in the contemplation stage or higher on the SOC. Motivation to quit smoking was higher at follow-up compared with baseline on both continuous, t(89) = 2.11, P < 0.05, and stage-based, z = 3.69, P < 0.01, measures. At follow-up, participants reported greater interest in receiving cessation interventions, and 7.8% of patients had quit smoking. Pain-related predictors of motivation (e.g., pain intensity) were subsumed by more general predictors (e.g., nicotine dependence).

Conclusions: Patients in this sample were more motivated to quit smoking a few weeks after, as compared with before initiating specialty pain treatment. Future research into pain-specific predictors of cessation motivation is warranted to inform the development of interventions that address pain patients' unique needs.

Keywords: Cessation Motivation; Chronic Pain; Smoking.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires