A Teachable Moment After Orthopaedic Fracture in the Smoking Patient: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

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To assess whether education during hospitalization after an acute fracture changes patient attitudes toward smoking-related complications and to assess whether this change persists into the first outpatient follow-up visit.


Prospective, randomized, controlled trial.


Level 1 trauma center.


Inpatients with fractures who identified as smokers: 40 assessed for inclusion and randomized, 30 completed inpatient assessments, and 20 completed outpatient follow-up.


An educational intervention by the researcher to teach the patient about the harms of smoking regarding fracture healing.

Main Outcome Measures:

A novel questionnaire to assess the intervention via Likert scale responses, evaluating perceived risk, affective response, and self-role.


Education resulted in an increase in perceived risk and affective response within the cohort and an increase in perceived risk when compared with control subjects. No significant differences persisted into outpatient follow-up.


This trial demonstrated that a teachable moment can have an early effect on certain attitudes toward smoking after an acute fracture. These changes did not persist at the first follow-up visit.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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