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Specifying evidence-based behavior change techniques to aid smoking cessation in pregnancy

Lorencatto, F., West, R. & Michie, S. (2012). Specifying evidence-based behavior change techniques to aid smoking cessation in pregnancy. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 14(9), pp. 1019-1026. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr324


Introduction: Behavioural support aids smoking cessation in pregnancy. However, it remains unclear which component behaviour change techniques (BCTs) contribute to effectiveness, or the extent to which these are applied in practice. This study aimed to examine: i) which BCTs were included in effective behavioural support interventions for pregnant smokers, and ii) the prevalence of use of these BCTs by the English Stop Smoking Services (SSSs).

Methods: From a Cochrane review of smoking cessation behavioural support in pregnancy, seven interventions were identified as effective in that they increased the odds of cessation by at least 50% and differences between intervention and control conditions were statistically significant. BCTs in each intervention were identified using an established taxonomy of BCTs. Thirteen treatment manuals from SSSs were coded for inclusion of BCTs.

Results: Thirty-seven BCTs were identified across trials of behavioural support for pregnant smokers, with an average of eight BCTs, and a range of six to 34 BCTs, per intervention. Eleven BCTs were present in at least two effective interventions [e.g. facilitate goal setting (n=6), advise on social support (n=2), action planning (n=5), provide rewards contingent on successfully stopping smoking (n=4)]. Only 15.4% of treatment manuals from SSSs contained all eleven BCTs; 53.8% contained at least six of them.

Conclusions: Whilst BCTs associated with effective interventions can be identified from systematically reviewed literature, English SSSs appear to use only a limited proportion of these in practice.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Adult, Behavior Therapy, Databases, Factual, Evidence-Based Medicine, Female, Health Education, Humans, Manuals as Topic, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Smoking Cessation, Women's Health, Young Adult
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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