Exploring the views of women on using nicotine replacement therapy in pregnancy

Cathy Ashwin, Kim Watts
Midwifery 2010, 26 (4): 401-6

OBJECTIVE: to explore women's views surrounding the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to aid smoking cessation.

DESIGN AND SETTING: a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews undertaken on 10 pregnant women in a semi-rural area of England.

FINDINGS: the two main themes that emerged from the study were that NRT was an important component in stopping smoking, but this was in conjunction with support given by the midwife advisor. Both themes appeared to be equally important to the women in aiding their attempts at smoking cessation. Also, the importance of tailored interventions should not be dismissed when aiding women in smoking cessation.

CONCLUSIONS: exploring the views of women enabled the researchers to gain a greater understanding of the problems and achievements that women encountered when using NRT as an aid to stop smoking during pregnancy. The study also demonstrated that smoking cessation strategies can be successful if they are tailored to the individual needs of each woman, taking into account her dependency, domestic circumstances and willingness to change.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: the findings of this study add to the available research surrounding the efficacy of NRT in pregnancy. There is little evidence that the views of pregnant women have been taken into account prior to this study; as such, this report offers a different dimension to the available evidence. Although these findings could be adopted and utilized by practitioners, there is still the need for further research in this area on a larger scale.

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