Date of Conferral





Public Health


Cheryl Anderson


Cigarette smoking has been a public health concern for many years, and the possible impact of smoking on surgical site infection (SSI) has been studied broadly. However, a gap in understanding has persisted concerning whether there is an association between smoking tobacco and the development of SSI among patients who undergo lower extremity surgery, specifically total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study was to examine the association between smoking and lower extremity SSI. Andersen's behavioral model (BM) was used to understand the risk factors relevant to the interaction between smoking and SSI. Application of the BM categories of predisposing, enabling, need, and behavioral habits facilitated the discussion of surgical outcomes. A quantitative, cross-sectional approach was used to analyze data from a legacy registry of an east coast hospital. The research question addressed whether there was a relationship of the smoking status of three groups (i.e., smokers, nonsmokers, and previous smokers) and the variables in the BM categories (predisposing variables of age, gender, and body mass index [BMI]; enabling variable of health care insurance coverage; and need variables of health diagnoses, diabetes, hypertension, deficiency anemia, rheumatoid arthritis [RA]) to postoperative SSI. Multiple logistic regression test was used and no statistical association was found between smoking status and SSI; however, RA had a significant association with SSI. Positive social change may occur through the dissemination of new knowledge to reduce the financial burden of the prevalence of SSI through behavioral changes and improvements to health wellness.