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A content analysis of self-reported barriers and facilitators to preventing postpartum smoking relapse among a sample of current and former smokers in an underserved population

16 Jan 2015

To characterize the barriers and facilitators thatprevent postpartum relapse and maintain smoking abstinence among a socioeconomically underserved population, recruited through Philadelphia-area women, infants, and children clinics, in-person interviews were conducted with 30 women who had quit smoking for one or more pregnancies in the past 3 years to retrospectively describe their attempts to remain abstinent during the postpartum period. Responses were analysed using the constructs from the Cognitive-Social Health Information Processing model, which identifies the cognitive, affective and behavioral factors involved in goal-oriented self-regulatory actions, in the context of a vulnerable population of women. Motherhood demands were a significant source of relapse stress. Stresses associated with partner and family relationships also contributed to relapse. The presence of other smokers in the environment was mentioned by many women in our sample as affecting their ability to remain smoke-free postpartum. Participants reported four main strategies that helped them to successfully cope with postpartum cravings and relapses, including being informed of smoking risks, maintaining goal-oriented thoughts, focusing on their concerns about the baby’s health and receiving positive social support from families and friends. Results provide guidance for the design of smoking relapse interventions that may address the unique stressors reported by underserved postpartum women.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Health Education Research