Psychometric Testing of the Smoking Cessation Counseling Scale

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of mortality and disability. The Joint Commission recommends that patients admitted to a hospital for heart failure, myocardial infarction and pneumonia who are smokers receive smoking cessation advice during their hospital stay.

This study sought to test the psychometric properties of the Smoking Cessation Counseling (SCC) scale to measure evidence-based counseling interventions given by nurses. The 24 SCC items were developed from guidelines for nurses published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

Some 683 nurses from 23 rural hospitals participated in the survey that covered the following four subscales of smoking cessation interventions, with sample items:

  1. Standard care (2 items)—“I assess my patient tobacco use.”
  2. Basic counseling (4 items)—“If tobacco users are willing to quit, I provide resources and assistance.”
  3. Advanced counseling (15 items)—“I recommend use of over-the-counter nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge; or get a prescription for nasal spray, inhaler, or bupropion SR unless contraindicated.”
  4. Referral (3 items)—“I provide the number for the toll-free National Quitline.”

The SCC scale was found to be reliable and valid for representing nursing compliance with evidence-based smoking cessation counseling.