Ussher M, Best C, Lewis S, McKell J, Coleman T, Cooper S, Orton S & Bauld L (2021) Financial Incentives for Preventing Postpartum return to Smoking (FIPPS): study protocol for a three-arm randomised controlled trial. Trials, 22 (1), Art. No.: 512. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05480-6
Background: Financial incentives are an effective way of helping women to stop smoking during pregnancy. Unfortunately, most women who stop smoking at this time return to smoking within 12 months of the infant’s birth. There is no evidence for interventions that are effective at preventing postpartum smoking relapse. Financial incentives provided after the birth may help women to sustain cessation. This randomised controlled trial will assess the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of financial incentives to help women who are abstinent from smoking at end of pregnancy to avoid return to smoking up to 12 months postpartum.
Methods: This is a UK-based, multi-centre, three-arm, superiority, parallel group, individually randomised controlled trial, with 1:1:1 allocation. It will compare the effectiveness of two financial incentive interventions with each other (one intervention for up to three months postpartum offering up to £120 of incentives (£60 for the participant and £60 for a significant other support); the other for up to 12 months postpartum with up to £300 of incentives (£240 for the participant and £60 for a significant other support)) and with a no incentives/usual care control group. Eligible women will be between 34 weeks gestation and two weeks postpartum, abstinent from smoking for at least four weeks, have an expired carbon monoxide (CO) reading < 4 parts per million (ppm), aged at least 16 years, intend remaining abstinent from smoking after the birth and able to speak and read English.
The primary outcome is self-reported, lapse-free, smoking abstinence from the last quit attempt in pregnancy until 12 months postpartum, biochemically validated by expired CO and/or salivary cotinine or anabasine. Outcomes will be analysed by intention-to-treat and regression models used to compare the proportion of abstinent women between the two intervention groups and between each intervention group and the control group. An economic evaluation will assess the cost-effectiveness of offering incentives and a qualitative process evaluation will examine barriers and facilitators to trial retention, effectiveness and implementation.
This pragmatic randomised controlled trial will test whether offering financial incentives is effective and cost-effective for helping women to avoid smoking relapse during the 12 months after the birth of their baby.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number 55218215. Registered retrospectively on 5th June 2019
Intervention; Randomised controlled trial; Pregnancy; Postpartum; Smoking relapse prevention; Smoking cessation; Financial incentives
Trials: Volume 22, Issue 1