Longitudinal rates of smoking in a schizophrenia sample
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OBJECTIVES: Despite the well documented link between high rates of smoking and schizophrenia, there have been no longitudinal studies that have looked at rates of smoking and associated factors over time. This prospective study examined the longitudinal rates of smoking in a schizophrenia clinic sample over a decade. METHODS: Longitudinal survey research was conducted in a well established community-based psychiatric rehabilitation program in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, providing long-term intensive case management and rehabilitation skills training. Stable community outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia were surveyed initially in 1995 (n = 102) and then resurveyed 11 years later in 2006 (n = 76). The main outcome measure was self-report of smoking status. RESULTS: Smoking rates dropped significantly over time, with evidence that the number of "quitters" tripled over the past decade and the number of "everyday" smokers decreased by almost a third from 63.2% down to 43.3% (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The findings from the present study suggest that it is possible to obtain reduced smoking prevalence over time in a selected schizophrenia outpatient sample, though further research is required to better understand the factors related to quitting smoking in individuals with schizophrenia.
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