The objective was to determine the practices and beliefs of disadvantaged women with high smoking rates, their perceptions of antenatal services and their preference for smoking cessation intervention materials. The readiness of smokers to quit, in terms of stages of change, was also determined.
The study took place in public sector antenatal clinics situated in Cape Town, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Pretoria that provide care to predominantly women of mixed ancestral descent.
A cross-sectional survey was used. Data were collected via a self-administered questionnaire from pregnant women who were currently smoking, had quit smoking before or during pregnancy and who had never smoked.
A total of 796 women were interviewed of which 365 (45.9%) were smokers, 117 (14.7%) were quitters and 314 (39.4%) were non-smokers. Being in the pre-contemplation stage was reported by 28%, 36% indicated that they thought about quitting, while 36% said that they were in the preparation stage. Of the smokers and quitters 9.3% had stopped in the last 6 months (action stage), and 15% had stopped for longer (maintenance phase). 86% of women reported satisfaction with midwives and more than 60% rated interactive intervention methods such as support groups and talks by women who had stopped smoking most favourably.
Most women who smoked were contemplating or preparing to stop smoking. Intervention programmes should target these groups of women and midwives could be used to implement the interventions by facilitating support from women who had successfully quit.
2009. Vol. 3, no 4, 181-186 p.