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Open Access Article

Emerging Issues on the Impact of Smoking on Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Lung Cancer and Their Families

Karen Kane McDonnell
Linda F. C. Bullock
Patricia J. Hollen
Janie Heath
Benjamin D. Kozower
CJON 2014, 18(2), 171-181 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.18-02AP

Compelling evidence exists that continued smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer adversely affects treatment effectiveness, survival, risk of recurrence, second malignancy, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The importance of HRQOL to patients with cancer and their families has been well documented. Because of increasing evidence of the benefits of smoking cessation, more research has focused on the impact of smoking on HRQOL. Smoking is a behavior that clusters in families; patients who smoke are likely to have family members who smoke, and together they experience impaired HRQOL. This article describes the evidence regarding HRQOL measurement in individuals diagnosed with lung cancer and their family members who smoke and explores the implications for nursing practice. Oncology nurses are in a critical position to advocate for the integration of HRQOL assessment into clinical settings, monitor patient and family member smoking status and environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and support development of smoking cessation interventions to enhance HRQOL.

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