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Factors associated with the effectiveness and reach of NHS stop smoking services for pregnant women in England

Vaz LR, Coleman T, Fahy SJ, Cooper S, Bauld L, Szatkowski L & Leonardi-Bee J (2017) Factors associated with the effectiveness and reach of NHS stop smoking services for pregnant women in England, BMC Health Services Research, 17 (1), Art. No.: 545.


The UK National Health Service provides Stop Smoking Services for pregnant women (SSSP) but there is a lack of evidence concerning how these are best organised. This study investigates influences on services’ effectiveness and also on their propensity to engage pregnant smokers with support in stopping smoking. 
Survey data collected from 121/141 (86%) of SSSP were augmented with data from Hospital Episode Statistics and the 2011 UK National Census. ‘Reach’ or propensity to engage smokers with support was defined as the percentage of pregnant smokers setting a quit date with SSSP support, and ‘Effectiveness’ as the percentage of women who set a quit date who also reported abstinence at four weeks later. A bivariate (i.e. two outcome variable) response Markov Chain Monte Carlo model was used to identify service-level factors associated with the Reach and Effectiveness of SSSP. 
Beta coefficients represent a percentage change in Reach and Effectiveness by the covariate. Providing the majority of one-to-one contacts in a clinic rather than at home increased both Reach (%) (β: 6.97, 95% CI: 3.34, 10.60) and Effectiveness (%) (β: 7.37, 95% CI: 3.03, 11.70). Reach of SSSP was also increased when the population served was more deprived (β for increase in Reach with a one unit increase in IMD score: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.85), had a lower proportion of people with dependent children (β: -2.52, 95% CI: -3.82, −1.22), and a lower proportion of people in managerial or professional occupations (β: -0.31, 95% CI: -0.59, −0.03). The Effectiveness of SSSP was decreased in those areas that had a greater percentage of people >16years with no educational qualifications (β: -0.51, 95% CI: -0.95, −0.07). 
To engage pregnant smokers and to encourage them to quit, it may be more efficient for SSSP support to be focussed around clinics, rather than women’s homes. Reach of SSSP is inversely associated with disadvantage and efforts should be made to contact these women as they are less likely to achieve abstinence in the short and longer term.

Smoking; Pregnancy; Stop smoking services

AuthorsVaz Luis R, Coleman Tim, Fahy Samantha J, Cooper Sue, Bauld Linda, Szatkowski Lisa, Leonardi-Bee Jo
Publication date08/08/2017
Publication date online08/08/2017
Date accepted by journal02/08/2017
PublisherBioMed Central
ISSN 1472-6963

bmc Health Services Research: Volume 17, Issue 1 (2017)

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