Skip to main content
Research

Support to help stub out smoking during pregnancy

21 May 2019 @TeesUniNews

 

Researchers at Teesside University continue to work with NHS Trusts to promote new methods of encouraging pregnant women not to smoke.

Although many women are aware of the dangers of smoking while pregnant, some mums-to-be continue to smoke.

Contributory factors include smoking being the norm in their social circle, their mothers and grandmothers smoked while pregnant, or they are genuinely unaware of the seriousness of the health risks to their unborn child.

Previous research into pregnancy and smoking led to the implementation of the babyClear© programme, which was rolled out across the North East of England to protect unborn babies and their mothers from the harm caused by smoking and reduce rates of smoking during pregnancy.

The babyClear© intervention package aims to embed NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance around smoking in pregnancy, including screening all pregnant women for smoking using carbon monoxide monitoring and automatically referring those with a raised reading to stop smoking services.

Researchers at Teesside University and Newcastle University, collaborating through Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, talked to pregnant smokers and staff who deliver maternity and stop smoking services and were able to explore the effectiveness and impact of babyClear© since its implementation.

An animation has been created to highlight the results of this research, with the intended aim of raising awareness of the findings and helping to inform future service delivery.

Frontline staff working in maternity and smoking cessation services say they welcome new ways to approach pregnant women about their smoking without damaging their professional relationship with them, as this was a particular concern.

The research has shown that for healthcare practitioners to challenge smoking behaviour among pregnant women, there needs to be a robust support system in place for the women whose behaviour they seek to change.

This research has looked at what has been implemented and how it is working in practice, to consider any recommendations in how it might be improved

Susan Jones, research associate in Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care, said: 'The ongoing challenge is to identify and maintain the elements of the intervention package which are essential for its effectiveness and how to tailor them to local circumstances and resources.

'An important point is seeing the routinisation of carbon monoxide monitoring, so it becomes the norm and helps to change the narrative.

'This research has looked at what has been implemented and how it is working in practice, to consider any recommendations in how it might be improved. Practitioners are well placed to help encourage pregnant women to stop smoking, and they see the opportunity to be able to offer advice as an integral part of their role.

'The emphasis is on encouraging the practitioners and translating the results in an accessible way. It is about enabling and supporting the women to achieve the best outcome.'

Teesside University Professor Sharon Hamilton, said: 'We have demonstrated a way of operationalising one of the recommendations of the NHS’s ten year plan; the routinisation of carbon monoxide monitoring and subsequent follow up.'

Professor John Dixon, Associate Dean (Research & Innovation) in the University’s School of Health and Social Care, said: 'This work supports the University’s Grand Challenge Research Theme of Health and Wellbeing, which is part of a wider aim to address some of the global challenges of our time, through focus on research which makes a real and practical difference to people’s lives.'

The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (SPHR).


In the News

Support to help stub out smoking during pregnancy
North East Chamber of Commerce (Web), 21/5/2019; Middlesbrough Council (Web), 22/5/2019
Researchers at Teesside University continue to work with NHS Trusts to promote new methods of encouraging pregnant women not to smoke