Counselling in Pregnancy

East MidlandsGeneric Health Relevance
Start Date: 1 Jan 2015 End Date: 31 Dec 2018

Enhancing NHS behavioural smoking cessation support for pregnant women

What we are doing:

Smoking in pregnancy is a serious public health problem which, across the UK, the NHS stop smoking services (SSS) are trying to address. Strong research evidence shows that one-to-one behavioural support deliveredby trained smoking cessation advisors helps pregnant smokers to stop; however, it is difficult to deliver thiseffective treatment to a consistently high standard. Across the UK, provision of behavioural support for pregnant smokers is patchy; while some SSS offer pregnancy-specific treatment programmes, many still usegeneric cessation support with pregnant clients. This would be improved by identifying and broadening therange of pregnancy-specific behaviour change techniques available to NHS cessation advisors.

This study will develop, evidence-based behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to be applied within NHS behavioural support sessions for pregnant smokers and to integrate these into mandatory training for NHS staffand hence, into routine clinical care.

Why are we doing it:

Pregnant smokers are most likely to engage with behavioural support if suggested techniques are relevant to their lives and easy to understand and use. Across England, behavioural support is not consistently offered to pregnant smokers; nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), for which there is no evidence of efficacy inpregnant smokers, is often prioritised over behavioural support. In addition, thegeneric cessation support may not always be appropriate in pregnancy.

What the benefits will be:

A core set of BCTs will be identified in existing interventions and new BCTs will bedeveloped for encouraging pregnant women to stop smoking, to integrate these into standard NHS training programmes. This training will be refined, as appropriate, using feedback from health professionals who will have experienced this.

Professor Tim Coleman