The smoking cessation clinic at Centro Medico Santagostino offers therapeutic programs for those who want to stop smoking, especially those with chronic disease caused by years of smoking. The service provides a team of experts to support the patients psychological well-being, combining specialists of different professions and skills to ensure that all of the medical, psychological and behavioral difficulties associated with quitting smoking, many of which cause patients to slip up or abandon their quit attempt, are addressed throughout this difficult process.
A big hurdle for those trying to give up cigarettes is the psychological addiction. Centro Medico Santagostino provides a mental "gym" for patients to strengthen their emotion management skills. We strive to teach patients how to quit smoking while being able to manage all aspects of daily life without frustration and without gaining weight. The goal is to do so in a short time frame in order to see improvements in one's appearance and fitness, including the appearance of one's skin and teeth. The smoking cessation clinic offers individual or small group sessions aimed at training patients to manage their emotions, providing benefits not only in their attempt to quit smoking, but also in their work life, social settings, and personal relationships.
Self care award
Centro Medico Santagostino has decided to incentivize patients who are thinking of quiting smoking by rewarding those who manage to stop smoking for an entire year (evaluated in a follow up visit) with a 110 euro voucher (equivalent to the average cost of 2 months of cigarettes for a heavy smoker) for use in medical treatment at the center.
The clinical path
The patient's journey to being smoke free begins with a clinical evaluation carried out jointly by a pulmonary physician and a psychologist. These specialists perform specific exams and tests to measure the severity of the patient's smoking addiction and any related physical conditions (CO measurement, spirometry, Fagerstrom Test, Motivational Test).
The first visit concludes with the specialists proposing a treatment plan for the patient. The plan is typically a combination of pharmacological and psychological treatments, the objective being to overcome both the physical and psychological addiction to smoking. Psychological therapy may include individual or group sessions. Group therapy involves weekly meetings in which other participants offer motivation and support in pursuing the quit goal. The group shares experiences and members acquire effective strategies and techniques to manage the negative effects of smoking cessation: physical and psychological withdrawal, fear of weight gain, the management of anxiety, anger and cravings (those moments when an almost uncontrollable desire to light a cigarette hits), etc.
Taking charge and following up
The patient will be continuously monitored for a year, attending meetings to follow up on a quarterly basis. Specialists (pulmonologist and psychologist) will be readily available on their cell phones throughout the entire treatment period to assist patients with any doubts or questions.