The Effect of Positive Group Psychotherapy and Motivational Interviewing on Smoking Cessation: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to describe the process and evaluate the effect of positive group psychotherapy and motivational interviewing as an intervention for smoking cessation.

Method

A qualitative descriptive study was conducted at a university in South Korea. Positive group psychotherapy and motivational interviewing were attended by 36 smokers for 1 hour once a week, for 6 hours. A recorded exit interview was conducted after the intervention. The resulting transcripts were analyzed with content analysis and thematic analysis.

Results

Among the 36 study participants, the importance of stopping smoking was rated higher in the successful cessation (defined as those who ceased smoking for at least 3 months; hereafter, success group) group (8.6 ± 0.4, n = 10) than in the failed cessation (defined as those who did not cease smoking for at least 3 months; hereafter, failure group) group (7.75 ± 0.3, n = 26; p < .01). The confidence to stop smoking was rated higher by the successes (8.4 ± 0.3) than by the failures (5.5 ± 0.4; p < .01). More successes wanted to stop smoking for the sake of their loved ones (60%) and health (50%), whereas more failures wanted to stop smoking for saving money (45.5%). Failures had more cross-addiction than successes (three to four addictions: 31.5% vs. 20%). When participants were asked to find 10 personality merits, 78% of the successes and 47% of the failures found their 10 merits. The therapeutic process was described as “sharing the smoking cessation process with others,” “detailed guidance for stress management and smoking cessation,” and “compliments about efforts for smoking cessation.”

Conclusion

The importance of and confidence in smoking cessation were predictors for successful cessation for 3–6 months. Motivational interviewing increased motivations, whereas positive group psychotherapy increased positive thoughts and confidence.

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