Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a chronic disabling illness that frequently results in the occlusion of arteries in lower limbs and may cause ischemia, gangrene, or infection. The single most significant factor contributing to both the onset and progression of PVD is smoking, which has addictive properties. Once smoking becomes a habitual behavior, combined with the atherosclerotic process, a disastrous pathway ensues. The aim of this project was to gain an understanding of the beliefs of patients with PVD who smoked. Data were obtained from a sample of participants with a known history of PVD who have had a previous vascular intervention and who are established patients in a vascular surgeon’s private office where N=50. The majority of participants were male (n=31; 63%) 65-74 years of age (n=18; 36%), were unemployed (n=30; 60%) and have smoked for greater than 51+ years (n=13; 26%). A scale that was developed guided by The Behavioral beliefs subscale revealed that PVD patients enjoyed smoking, smoking helped them to relax, and that they believed that they were addicted to smoking. Results from the normative beliefs indicated that the spouse or significant other, children or those whom they lived with, did not approve of their smoking and also that their healthcare provider had discussed smoking cessation with them. The control beliefs subscale results demonstrated that most patients had attempted to quit smoking, believed it would be a difficult behavior to stop, believed that they would require the assistance of a patch or medication and feared the withdrawal symptoms. Exploring the beliefs and thought process of patients who smoked provided a rich body of knowledge which can afford the healthcare professional with the ability to better understand the smoking experience as seen through patients’ eyes.

Included in

Nursing Commons