Psychosocial interventions for supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy

Catherine Chamberlain, Alison O'Mara-Eves, Sandy Oliver, Jenny R Caird, Susan Perlen, Sandra Eades, James Thomas

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259 Citations (Scopus)


Background Tobacco smoking in pregnancy remains one of the few preventable factors associated with complications in pregnancy, stillbirth, low birthweight and preterm birth and has serious long-term implications for women and babies. Smoking in pregnancy is decreasing in high-income countries, but is strongly associated with poverty and increasing in low- to middle-income countries. Objectives To assess the effects of smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy on smoking behaviour and perinatal health outcomes. Search methods Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials, cluster-randomised trials, randomised cross-over trials, and quasi-randomised controlled trials (with allocation by maternal birth date or hospital record number) of psychosocial smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and trial quality, and extracted data. Direct comparisons were conducted in RevMan, and subgroup analyses and sensitivity analysis were conducted in SPSS. Main results Eighty-six trials were included in this updated review, with 77 trials (involving over 29,000 women) providing data on smoking abstinence in late pregnancy. In separate comparisons, counselling interventions demonstrated a significant effect compared with usual care (27 studies; average risk ratio (RR) 1.44, 95 confidence interval (CI) 1.19 to 1.75), and a borderline effect compared with less intensive interventions (16 studies; average RR 1.35, 95 CI 1.00 to 1.82). However, a significant effect was only seen in subsets where counselling was provided in conjunction with other strategies. It was unclear whether any type of counselling strategy is more effective than others (one study; RR 1.15, 95 CI 0.86 to 1.53). In studies comparing counselling and usual care (the largest comparison), it was unclear whether interventions prevented smoking relapse among women who had stopped smoking spontaneously in early pregnancy (eight studies; average RR 1.06, 95 CI 0.93 to 1.21). However, a clear effect was seen in smoking abstinence at zero to five months postpartum (10 studies; average RR 1.76, 95 CI 1.05 to 2.95), a borderline effect at six to 11 months (six studies; average RR 1.33, 95 CI 1.00 to 1.77), and a significant effect at 12 to 17 months (two studies, average RR 2.20, 95 CI 1.23 to 3.96), but not in the longer term. In other comparisons, the effect was not significantly different from the null effect for most secondary outcomes, but sample sizes were small. Incentive-based interventions had the largest effect size compared with a less intensive intervention (one study; RR 3.64, 95 CI 1.84 to 7.23) and an alternative intervention (one study; RR 4.05, 95 CI 1.48 to 11.11). Feedback interventions demonstrated a significant effect only when compared with usual care and provided in conjunction with other strategies, such as counselling (two studies; average RR 4.39, 95 CI 1.89 to 10.21), but the effect was unclear when compared with a less intensive intervention (two studies; average RR 1.19, 95 CI 0.45 to 3.12). The effect of health education was unclear when compared with usual care (three studies; average RR 1.51, 95 CI 0.64 to 3.59) or less intensive interventions (two studies; average RR 1.50, 95 CI 0.97 to 2.31). Social support interventions appeared effective when provided by peers (five studies; average RR 1.49, 95 CI 1.01 to 2.19), but the effect was unclear in a single trial of support provided by partners. Authors? conclusions Psychosocial interventions to support women to stop smoking in pregnancy can increase the proportion of women who stop smoking in late pregnancy, and reduce low birthweight and preterm births.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD01055
Pages (from-to)1 - 358
Number of pages358
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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