Flemming K, McCaughan D, Angus K & Graham H (2015) Qualitative systematic review: barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation experienced by women in pregnancy and following childbirth. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71 (6), pp. 1210-1226. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.12580
Aim To explore barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation experienced by women during pregnancy and postpartum by undertaking a synthesis of qualitative studies.
Background The majority of pregnant women are aware that smoking in pregnancy compromises maternal and infant health. Despite this knowledge, quit rates among pregnant women remain low, particularly among women in disadvantaged circumstances; disadvantage also increases the chances of living with a partner who smokes and returning to smoking after birth. A deeper understanding of what hinders and what helps pregnant smokers to quit and remain ex-smokers postpartum is needed.
Design A synthesis of qualitative research using meta-ethnography.
Data sources Five electronic databases (January 1990–May 2013) were searched comprehensively, updating and extending the search for an earlier review to identify qualitative research related to the review's aims.
Review methods Following appraisal, 38 studies reported in 42 papers were included and synthesized following the principles of meta-ethnography. Over 1100 pregnant women were represented, the majority drawn from disadvantaged groups.
Results Four factors were identified that acted both as barriers and facilitators to women's ability to quit smoking in pregnancy and postpartum: psychological well-being, relationships with significant others, changing connections with her baby through and after pregnancy; appraisal of the risk of smoking.
Conclusion The synthesis indicates that barriers and facilitators are not fixed and mutually exclusive categories; instead, they are factors with a latent capacity to help or hinder smoking cessation. For disadvantaged smokers, these factors are more often experienced as barriers than facilitators to quitting.
literature review; midwives; pregnancy; qualitative research; smoking; systematic review
Journal of Advanced Nursing: Volume 71, Issue 6