Exercise to support indigenous pregnant women to stop smoking: acceptability to Maori



Roberts V, Glover M, McCowan L, Walker N, Ussher M, Heke I & Maddison R (2017) Exercise to support indigenous pregnant women to stop smoking: acceptability to Maori. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 21 (11), pp. 2040-2051.

Objectives: Smoking during pregnancy is harmful for the woman and the unborn child, and the harms raise risks for the child going forward. Indigenous women often have higher rates of smoking prevalence than non-indigenous. Exercise has been proposed as a strategy to help pregnant smokers to quit. Māori (New Zealand Indigenous) women have high rates of physical activity suggesting that an exercise programme to aid quitting could be an attractive initiative. This study explored attitudes towards an exercise programme to aid smoking cessation for Māori pregnant women.  Methods: Focus groups with Māori pregnant women, and key stakeholder interviews were conducted.  Results: Overall, participants were supportive of the idea of a physical activity programme for pregnant Māori smokers to aid smoking cessation. The principal, over-arching finding, consistent across all participants, was the critical need for a Kaupapa Māori approach (designed and run by Māori, for Māori people) for successful programme delivery, whereby Māori cultural values are respected and infused throughout all aspects of the programme. A number of practical and environmental barriers to attendance were raised including: cost, the timing of the programme, accessibility, transport, and childcare considerations.  Conclusions: A feasibility study is needed to design an intervention following the suggestions presented in this paper with effort given to minimising the negative impact of barriers to attendance.

Smoking; smoking cessation; pregnancy; exercise; physical activity; maori; qualitative research

Maternal and Child Health Journal: Volume 21, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2017
Publication date online12/07/2017
Date accepted by journal06/07/2017

People (1)


Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing