Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government
Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R03CA126371-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Warner, David
Organization: Mayo Clinic Rochester
Project Title: Elective Surgery as a Teachable Moment for Smoking Cessation
Fiscal Year: 2007


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The term "teachable moment" refers to an event that motivates individuals to spontaneously adopt risk- reducing health behaviors. Events such as the diagnosis of smoking-related illnesses (e.g. cancer) and the scheduling of surgery spontaneously (i.e., in the absence of interventions) increase the rate of quitting. However, as recently discussed in an important conceptual paper by McBride et al, little is known about factors that make certain cueing events "teachable". They proposed a heuristic in which an event is a "teachable moment" for smoking cessation to the extent that it impacts 3 key constructs. Although appealing in concept, its validity has not been evaluated. The scheduling of surgery provides a unique opportunity to test the McBride model. This study will evaluate the McBride heuristic as applied to smoking behavior following elective surgical procedures. Two specific aims will be pursued. In the first we will develop measures of the Me Bride model specific to the surgical setting, and perform an initial evaluation of their stability and internal consistency in a group of surgical patients. In the second, we will perform a pilot study to explore the hypothesis that in patients scheduled for elective surgery: 1) higher perceptions of risks or greater negative expectancies regarding health outcomes related to smoking, 2) higher levels of positive or negative affective responses, and 3) self-concept or role expectations related to smoking will correlate with measures of self-efficacy and intent, and predict postoperative abstinence from smoking. Measures of the McBride constructs will be administered to smokers scheduled for elective surgery, whose smoking behavior will be evaluated for up to 30 days postoperatively. Structural equation modeling will be utilized both to validate the measurement model established in Aim 1 and to test the fit of the structural model associated with the McBride heuristic to postoperative smoking behavior. Relevance to public health: Evaluation of the McBride heuristic is of interest not only from a theoretical standpoint, but may have practical implications regarding the design of behavioral interventions to exploit the "teachable moment. For example, if the constructs predict behavior, interventions can attempt to specifically influence these constructs. Our overall goal is to develop effective tobacco use interventions for surgical patients; this project will be an important step in this process.



Back to Top