Partner support for smoking cessation during pregnancy: a systematic review

Natalie Hemsing, Lorraine Greaves, Renée O'Leary, Katharine Chan, Chizimuzo Okoli
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2012, 14 (7): 767-76

INTRODUCTION: Pregnancy is a key time to leverage receptivity to smoking reduction or cessation in both pregnant women and their partners. A partner's smoking status and support for the pregnant/postpartum woman's efforts to reduce or quit smoking may impact her smoking behavior.

METHODS: A systematic literature review of interventions to enhance partner support for pregnant/postpartum women's smoking reduction or cessation and cessation treatments for the partners themselves identified 855 unique references, which were examined for relevance, yielding 9 intervention studies.

RESULTS: This narrative review analyzed a range of interventions including mass media campaigns, ultrasound scans, video, self-help manuals, counselling, and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) aimed at pregnant women and/or their partners. One randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed significant results for an intervention, which included a partner-targeted component in which pregnant women received health counselling, video and printed information, while partners received a booklet explaining the importance of quitting together. Three studies (1 RCT cluster, 1 pre-post test, 1 RCT) demonstrated no effect in improving smoking cessation among pregnant women. Two RCTs included free NRTs, telephone counselling, and multiple contacts as components of effective intervention for male partners, but impact on overall quit rates may not be sustainable postpartum. Seven studies (4 pre-post test, 2 RCT, 1 RCT cluster) found no effect of the intervention on partner smoking cessation.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the importance of partner smoking, there are very few effective smoking cessation interventions for pregnant/postpartum women that include or target male partners, suggesting the need for further intervention development and research to establish the utility of this approach.

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