A systematic review of behaviour change techniques within interventions to prevent return to smoking postpartum



Brown T, Hardeman W, Bauld L, Holland R, Maskrey V, Naughton F, Orton S, Ussher M & Notley C (2019) A systematic review of behaviour change techniques within interventions to prevent return to smoking postpartum. Addictive Behaviors, 92, pp. 236-243.

Introduction: There is no routine support to prevent postpartum smoking relapse, due to lack of effective interventions. Previous reviews have identified behaviour change techniques (BCTs) within pregnancy cessation trials to specify which components might be incorporated into more effective interventions, but no reviews have identified BCTs for prevention of smoking relapse postpartum. We reviewed BCTs and potential delivery modes, to inform future interventions. Methods: We searched Medline and EMBASE from January 2015–May 2017; and identified trials published before 2015 by handsearching systematic reviews. We included RCTs where: i) ≥1 intervention component aimed to maintain smoking abstinence versus a less intensive intervention; ii) participants included pregnant or postpartum smoking quitters; iii) smoking status was reported in the postpartum period. We extracted trial characteristics and used the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1 to extract BCTs. We aimed to identify ‘promising’ BCTs i.e. those frequently occurring and present in ≥2 trials that demonstrated long-term effectiveness (≥6 months postpartum). Data synthesis was narrative. Results: We included 32 trials, six of which demonstrated long-term effectiveness. These six trials used self-help, mainly in conjunction with counselling, and were largely delivered remotely. We identified six BCTs as promising: ‘problem solving’ ‘information about health consequences’ ‘information about social and environmental consequences’ ‘social support’ ‘reduce negative emotions’ and ‘instruction on how to perform a behaviour’. Conclusions: Future interventions to prevent postpartum smoking relapse might include these six BCTs to maximise effectiveness. Tailored self-help approaches, with/without counselling, may be favourable modes of delivery of BCTs.

Smoking relapse; Intervention; Postpartum; Pregnancy; Review; Behaviour change techniques

Addictive Behaviors: Volume 92

FundersMedical Research Council
Publication date31/05/2019
Publication date online23/12/2018
Date accepted by journal22/12/2018

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing