Varduhi Hayrumyan Published Master's Thesis
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Varduhi Hayrumyan (MPH ‘16) Publishes Master’s Thesis Project

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YEREVAN, Armenia — Varduhi Hayrumyan (MPH ‘16), a research associate at the Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) at the American University of Armenia (AUA), has published her Master of Public Health (MPH) thesis in the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation journal, a globally recognized peer-reviewed academic publication. The article, titled “Smoking Cessation after Myocardial Infarction: Findings from a Cross-sectional Survey in Armenia,” was co-authored by CHS faculty members Dr. Arusyak Harutyunyan (MPH ‘09) and Dr. Tsovinar Harutyunyan (MPH ’99), her academic advisors.

The study focused on examining smoking cessation practices and associated factors among smoker patients diagnosed with myocardial infarction (MI) at 6–12 months post-hospitalization. This research, the first of its kind in Armenia, was conducted among smoker adult patients who were diagnosed with MI and hospitalized at the largest cardiac hospital, Nork-Marash Medical Center, in the country. The findings indicated that, while nearly all MI patients attempted to quit smoking, only 52.2% achieved successful abstention at 6–12 months after hospitalization. Predictors of successful quitting included higher self-efficacy, lower tobacco dependence, absence of other smokers among family members, subsequent hospitalizations due to heart disease, a higher number of household members, and the presence of at least one comorbidity. 

Despite the evident benefits of quitting, a substantial number of MI patients continued smoking during the investigated period. The severity of the health condition played a crucial role in initiating quitting attempts, emphasizing the importance of providing cessation support during hospitalization. The study underscores the critical need for integrating the recommended standard smoking cessation services into medical care and offering targeted assistance to all MI patients. Assessing nicotine dependence levels is deemed crucial for healthcare providers to tailor smoking cessation interventions effectively. The findings also highlight the significance of behavioral interventions focused on improving self-efficacy to enhance long-term abstinence. Additionally, healthcare providers should consider targeting family members and friends to achieve better quitting outcomes for MI patients.

The study’s practical implications extend beyond Armenia, providing valuable insights for other low- and middle-income countries. The identified factors serve as a guide for developing appropriate strategies to integrate tobacco dependence treatment into healthcare systems, ultimately improving long-term quitting outcomes and overall survival rates after MI.

The AUA Turpanjian College of Health Sciences works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of health professionals to be leaders in public health, nursing, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.