Barriers and Facilitators to Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy and Following Childbirth

Smoking while pregnant causes substantial harm and, while many women in the UK stop smoking before becoming pregnant or soon after becoming pregnant, one in four women smoke for part of pregnancy and one in eight smoke continually. In the UK, there are NHS services available to pregnant women that are known to help them stop smoking, however, less than one in seven pregnant smokers use these services.

This study will explore barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation in pregnancy and following childbirth involving pregnant women, their partners/other family members and health professionals who have a role to play in supporting women to stop smoking. The study will examine why women do not use existing services, how these services and other forms of support could be improved and whether there are new forms of support that should be developed and tested in future research.

The study has two main components. Firstly, a set of three literature reviews will be undertaken focusing on the views of pregnant women, their partners/other family members and health professionals who support women to quit smoking. The findings from studies included in each review will be compared and combined to build an overview of common barriers and facilitators for each of the three groups.

Secondly, a set of three exploratory studies will be undertaken with pregnant women, partners/family members and health professionals. We will interview 20 pregnant women who have stopped smoking and 20-25 family members living with these women, and 20 pregnant women continuing to smoke and 20-25 of their family members. 10 women will be interviewed a second time after they have given birth. In the interviews we will examine the views of the women and their partners/other family members regarding smoking, smoking cessation and interventions to support cessation. We will also interview up to 40 health professionals who have a role to play in supporting women to stop smoking to explore their views of structural, organisational or cultural barriers that women face in the NHS or other services in accessing effective support to stop smoking.

The study will use findings from the reviews and the interviews to explore the current make-up of interventions and services to support women to quit smoking and to develop proposals for interventions that could be tested to improve current provision.

This is the link to the project on the NIHR HTA programme page: http://www.hta.ac.uk/3024

Funding

Funder(s):

NIHR Health Techonology Assessment Programme (HTA)

Start Date: May 2013
Expiry Date: April 2015

Public Health and Society Research in the Department of Health Sciences